Saturday, October 20, 2012

Babies Can't Wait

Babies Can't Wait
(Click here if you would like more information on this program.)
Unless you have or had a child with a delay of any type, you have likely never heard of Babies Can't Wait. It is a state program for babies in conjunction with Early Intervention. How does it work? First, your child's pediatrician has to see a need. A need can be anything from a physical delay, speech delay, or a reason for occupational therapy such as a feeding issue. When a delay is noted, your child's pediatrician will then decide if it is a "wait and see" need or if there is an immediate need which merits an evaluation and possible therapy. Once a referral is made, a social worker will make an appointment with you to complete paper work then a team comes out to evaluate your child. To qualify for this program, your child has to be moderately delayed in two areas or significantly in one. My understanding is that certain birth defects and/or conditions can automatically qualify you but I'm not certain of that. From referral by the doctor to actually evaluation is anywhere from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. Once admitted into the program, though, the therapy starts almost right away.
This program is a government program but there are no financial qualifications. If you have private health care then your insurance is billed. If there is an amount not covered by your insurance then the program can either pay your balance or at that time there may be out of pocket expenses. It would be extremely minimal, though.
Back to us, Harper was evaluated this summer and did not qualify. However, her gross motor skills did not catch up and at 12 months she was still grossly behind. Our ped wanted her evaluated again stating it was "BS" that she didn't qualify at 9 months. When the team came, I was nervous. I was scared. I knew she needed help! The team worked with Harper for over an hour.
When the evaluation was over and the results were being discussed, the physical therapist asked us not to be upset by the results. She is at a 6 or 7 month level. I honestly could not have cared less what this number was. All I cared about was if they were or were not going to assist our daughter. Our social worker reminded the PT that she could use "informed clinical opinion" to admit. The PT said, "Oh, I don't need to use informed clinical opinion because she qualifies."
QUALIFIES! My heart sang! Understand me, I don't want there to be something wrong with my daughter. I do not want her to need therapy. Our reality is that she does need it. Her need is now being met. I couldn't be more thrilled.
Our therapy starts right away. I am looking forward to being able to post about her progress. My goal is that by Christmas she be able to climb a slide. I'll let you know if our therapist even thinks that is possible. Even if it is not, I ask that you pray that she meet this goal. My God is able!