Special Needs

Intro and ASD services question

I have been lurking for a while.  It's beyond time that I do an introduction and of course now I have a question too.

My DS1 (just turned 3 in September) has been diagnosed with an ASD.  We also have 9 month old twins (DS2 and DD) -- DD aspirated when swallowing from birth and has a feeding tube.  She has been taking all her food/formula (thickened) by mouth since she was 5 months old.  We do not know the cause of her swallowing difficulties, but naturally we are on high alert for additional problems.

It was after the birth of the twins that we started to suspect that DS1 was on the spectrum  Before that we were only aware of a slight speech delay (which we'd had evaluated privately and no therapy was recommended).  He showed zero interest in his siblings.  We enrolled him in daycare three days a week and typical ASD issues came to light there -- playing alone, transition issues, etc.  Long story short, he was evaluated by EI in July and started receiving services from the school district (at his daycare) in September.  We were on the waiting list for a medical evaluation and got in with a cancellation at the beginning of the month.  We are getting ready to start him in a day treatment program 3 hours a day for 3 or 5 days a week (plus individual speech and OT -- probably once a week).  We expect that our insurance will cover 5 days, but we are considering doing only 3 days of day treatment and 2 days at his current daycare with school district services.  He has made big strides in only a month of services from the district.  He gets 45 minutes each with an ECSE teacher, SLP and OT per week.  He now talks about "school" when he is not there, asks to see his friends (by name) and looks forward to attending. When he gets there in the morning he seeks out his friends to play.  I hate to take him out of that class when he is enjoying it and doing so well. 

So my question -- are we crazy for considering turning down services covered by insurance?  And if we need/want to increase to 5 days a week of therapy down the line is it going to be impossible to get insurance to cover increased services?  We can't do 5 days of private treatment and school district services because he still needs to nap a few days a week.

I feel like we are still learning the lay of the land on accessing ASD services and I don't want to make a mistake because we weren't aware of something that we should be considering.  Thanks in advance for any insight!
DS1: 09.12.10
DS2 & DD1: 01.14.13

Re: Intro and ASD services question

  • MirandaHobbesMirandaHobbes member
    edited October 2013

    This is just our experience, but no, I probably wouldn't interupt your public school EI services. Our dev. pedi was adament that we keep both public and private therapies. For us, the school offered professionals that had very different backgrounds and experience levels. DS had gains in both settings, and enjoyed both settings for different reasons.

    I do not believe you will be at risk for losing insurance coverage if you only do 3 days instead of 5. Although I believe @auntie has cautioned that denying school services could be problematic down the line.

    Here's my story- DS was diagnosed ASD by the school district when he was only 19 months. I was in pretty hard denial, but I went ahead with EI and also private ST.  The private ST was terribly difficult to fit into our schedule, and after awhile DH and I basically gave up going. I still feel really guilty about that. However, at the time we weren't under the advisement of a dev. pedi and just didn't know any better. We had no problem picking up the full amount of ST when DS was evaluated by the pedi when he turned 3.

    Final note about naps- DS was a fanatical napper. He took morning and afternoon naps until he was 2. When he turned 3, the dev. pedi wanted us to join a therapy group that only had openings in the afternoons. I said no way, he has to nap (and likewise, if he didn't nap, he'd be a grouchy mess during the therapy which would not be worth it). I had to reach the realization that he would get over the lack of nap. He was a little fussy at first, but it only lasted about a week. He did go to bed a half hour earlier at night- which is a bummer because he already goes to bed so early- but it was totally worth it to get that extra time in. Just food for thought, I know your guy is still just barely 3. We were lucky that DS still takes looong naps on the weekends to catch up on lost sleep!



  • Welcome!
    WAY 2 Cool 4 School

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  • Thanks! That helps me feel confident in the plan. Any lingering questions were answered when DS1 clapped and cheered "yay school!" as I pulled into the parking lot this morning. He was home with me and his siblings all day yesterday -- I am trying not to be offended. ;)

    He starts the new schedule a week from Monday.
    DS1: 09.12.10
    DS2 & DD1: 01.14.13
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