After Oliver’s 18 month well-child exam, his pediatrician said that he needed an evaluation at an early intervention center to start getting therapies as soon as possible. She felt that he might have Autism Spectrum Disorder, might have Sensory Processing Disorder, and will definitely need speech therapy for his gagging.
Over the following week, I called 6 centers and asked if they take our insurance. After learning that all 6 take my insurance, I decided on one center and called to make an appointment. When I told them where we live, we were told that we’re not in their “service area” and, therefore, don’t qualify for services. Heartbroken, I called the next center on my list. And the next center. And the next center. And the next center. I was turned down by all of the centers that I had found between my home and Seattle (about a 75 mile radius) and didn’t know what to do next.
I proceeded by calling 34 other centers all over the state. After having been turned down by 40 Early intervention centers, I started coming to terms with the fact that my baby boy wouldn’t be able to get the help that he needs because we live in a rural area. Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from the program director of all of the Early Intervention centers for my county. One of the centers had given her my information and, after lots of work, was able to get one of the centers (my original #1 pick, coincidentally) to amend their policies and accept my son. We have his evaluation for services scheduled for July 21st (a week from tomorrow) and I can’t wait to have my son start on his road to healing. The program director said that, because Oliver has so many symptoms that coincide with those of an autism diagnosis, that he should get in for a diagnostic evaluation at University of Washington’s Autism center as soon as possible.
Our next steps include: Evaluation for services and scheduling of the diagnostic evaluation.