July 02, 2009,
M.R. asks from Carrollton, TX on September 07, 2008
Please Help - Carrollton,TX
I could really use your advice about now. My 3 yr old son was diagnosed of Autism Spectrum and Sensory Disorder on 2/08. As a Single mom it has been Extremely challenging. It has lots of delays and at the token he is smart as a wip above the norm on some areas. He goes to speech therapy every week and is in PPCD school w/the CFBSD which he loves and does great and is going for his evaluation on Tuesday for Occupational Therapy. Here is my dilema. My ex husband pays less child support than he should and now that my son was diagnosed w/Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Disorder he should be paying more. I don't have the money for an attorney but they did tell me he should be paying more. My son is on an individual insurance policy w/his dad which does not cover SPeech Therapy or OT so all the evaluations, sessions is out of pocket which is approx $500 a month which is my portion that is my responsibilty.
I can not afford it.
What would you mamas do?
S. answers from Dallas on September 07, 2008
Contact North Texas Legal Services for free legal help. Check with Special Care & Career Services, a charitable org with the mission to assist special needs persons who are too young or too old for public schools. Check out ECI that can provide free speech therapy through the school system - call your local school system for more info. Do your best and know you are doing so. Take care.
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P.G. answers from Dallas on September 07, 2008
I'm new to the area so I have no idea what the state provides in terms of assistance and programs for families/kids with Autism. My sis in FL had the same challenges, but there was a lot of help from the state, but I think it may have been school related programs. I'd look into that, though.
You mentioned that you're very involved in your church - perhaps that might be the way to go re. help (legal and otherwise). There might be someone in your congregation that would be willing to help on a sliding scale re. the support issue with your husband. And maybe there are other families with autistic children that could become a support group with you.
I recently saw part of a documentary about the Miracle Project - autism and theater - I think the woman who started it was in a similar situation. It might be worth contacting them, even just for support, information, etc.
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T.O. answers from Dallas on September 11, 2008
Call the Brent Woodall Center in Carrolton and Easter Seals. Both have speech therapy to offer, I believe the rates are reasonable at BW...not sure about ES... but ES has a fantastic early intervention program for young children. It's brand new. It didn't exist 17 years ago when my son was born with autism and we cannot benefit from the program but I pray that you will jump on this opportunity and take advantage of it. If there's a waiting list, get on it! Good luck!
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J.S. answers from Dallas on September 08, 2008
YOu definitely need to go through your school district and get and ARD so that your son can receive all of the therapies available.There should be no reason that you should have to pay for any of it.
S.M. answers from Dallas on July 02, 2009
Call Little Giant Steps! They are wonderful and affordable! ###-###-####!
L.W. answers from Dallas on September 07, 2008
Okay...I'm a little confused. It sounds as if your is son receiving services through the school district? If so, why are you paying? If not, have you tried that route?
Also, I would call the county and find out how you can go after your ex for his share of the support. I know there are ways but I'm not sure which agencies help with that. It might actually be CPS but I think there might be child advocates who help. If your church has a social worker they might be able to help steer you in the right direction as well. If not, the school counselor might be able to help. It's worth asking. You could also try calling some attorneys. They may not take your case but if they specialize in family law they may at least be able to steer you to someone who can help you.
J.T. answers from Dallas on September 08, 2008
my 5.5yo was given the diagnosis at 14 months, we are VERY fortunate that he is now in a normal kindergarten classroom with NO assistance!!!!!!!! just thought i'd start with a positive, and he was SEVERE as a younger child. anyhoo, why in the world are you paying for private services? PPCD should be providing your ST and OT... In the 4.5 years my son got therapy, we NEVER paid for it, and not b/c of our income, I just KNEW we wouldn't qualify b/c we have a high income, but it's based on the child, not the income. my son received private, in home therapy until he turned three, then went into PPCD. and it shouldn't be a major ordeal to get an addendum to your child support. and typically, the non-custodial parent is responsible for 50% of medical bills on top of "child support", is that not the case for you? good luck!