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Benefit to autism diagnosis?

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My daughter does not have an ASD diagnosis, but her psychiatrist thinks she qualifies. She has encouraged me to pursue getting one because it would open up 'more options and services'. I was processing this and didnt ask enough questions ...what are the options and services ?

 

She is diagnosed with pragmatic communication disorder , anxiety disorder, mood disorder , learning disability . She has some intense sensory issues.

 

The only thing I can think of is that there is a therapeutic horse riding clinic near me for ASD kids. I think she would like that. Is there more?

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Yes, it's pretty much whatever your budget or insurance can make happen. My ds gets OT, speech therapy, has had academic intervention services. He gets an hour a week with a behaviorist and we're getting ready to double that, so two hours a week dedicated work on social.

 

Social skills are THE NUMBER ONE determiner of future employability. For someone like my ds and apparently your dd, that's where the emphasis needs to be. That's what those labels are telling you. If you go to SocialThinking.com, you can start reading and find all kinds of stuff. You could done some Zones of Reg, try to use some things to get the mood disorder to improve... 

 

Total aside, but some of these kids will also have a methylation defect behind some of the mood disorder stuff. Just something to look into.

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If your state has an autism mandate, then insurance will have to pay for speech therapy, occupational therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Physical Therapy, etc. even if they normally don't cover these therapies.

 

My daughter's speech therapy gets covered by insurance if the clinic bills it under her autism diagnosis but not if they code it under her hearing loss.

 

An autism diagnosis may qualify the child for Medicaid as secondary to private insurance to pick up co-pays and deductibles for providers that accept Medicaid and for medications on the Medicaid formulary.

 

Building a "paper trail" for college (if the student is high-functioning enough to be aiming for college) is important, as is having one for Social Security Disability if the individual struggles to land and keep a job as an adult.

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OK. Yes, that all sounds wonderful.  It will be painful to pay for a second neuropsych evaluation, but, her challenges are growing as she gets older and I really worry about her.

Thanks for the replies.

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I would only add that it's important to find out what is actually available in your own state, especially if moving is not a viable option. Make sure that you also ask if there is an age cut-off, after which even obtaining an autism diagnosis does not qualify you for services. That might either motivate you to move faster or suggest that less help may be available even with a diagnosis.

 

Establishing a paper trail is a good plan regardless, but each state's rules are different about who can qualify for services.

 

ETA Talk to the psychiatrist recommending diagnosis about the services she has in mind, but also talk to your insurance company about what they will cover. Find out what laws mandate in your state.

Edited by Innisfree
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My son received his dx a few months ago, and I have been surprised at some of the programs he now qualifies for: OT and social skills groups, obviously, but his OT has put in a referral for PT and a group exercise class for kids on the spectrum. It has been worth it for us. We were on the fence about getting an official dx because ds presented as so mild, but the gap between him and typical children was growing each year and we decided to go for all the interventions we could. :)

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