As parents we often have a large fear about diagnosing our children. We don’t want to harm our children in any way or make the outside world treat them differently. We think that a label with define him or her indefinitely in life.
So, why is the medical diagnosis so important
developing an IEP/504 plan
finding the right treatment/therapy
The first reason is related to health insurance. Having a medical diagnosis will give your child a medical code within his file. Once there is a medical condition then “treatment” or therapy can and should be deemed medically necessary. Depending on the diagnosis, the child may be able to receive social security benefits and medicaid. There is also medicaid in Florida for children with medical conditions.
When developing an IEP/504 plan with the public school a medical diagnosis is NOT required. And even if you have a medical diagnosis that does not dictate the services your child will or will not receive within the district. However, when a parent has outside documentation from doctors and other professionals that support the parents concerns it will help the parent advocate for the student’s best interest.
The third is finding the right treatment and therapy. With a diagnosis of ASD (autism) then insurance will cover ABA therapy (applied behavior analysis). ABA therapy is the number one recommended therapy for children diagnosed with ASD. Without a medical diagnosis almost no insurance company will pay for ABA.
Once diagnosed then as a family you can start to understand the struggles and strengths of your child. The understanding will come with reading, research, and patience. Although we cannot feel what it’s like to be in the other persons body or mind having an understanding of the common symptoms can give us empathy. With empathy we can love and accept more.
Money, Money, and more money. When you have a medical diagnosis with an IEP then your child has more flexibility to obtain the proper education with scholarship. In Florida, the options are the Mckay or Gardiner. (future blogs to come on both of these options) With Gardiner scholarship money you can enroll in any therapy (service or product) that will accept the funding, it doesn’t have to be a private school. But you cannot get Gardiner without an approved medical diagnosis.
Finally, acceptance. A medical diagnosis will help you and your family accept the weakness and the strengths of your child. No more denial that a problem exists. Understanding the differences and the challenges and finding a way to love and accept the diagnosis for what it is and is not.
This diagnosis does not define who we are or are not. A diagnosis is a piece of paper that can open doors, provide access to proper therapy, give scholarship money for education in a more appropriate setting and help us all understand and accept our special needs children.