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Health Care Insurance

Our practice will do our best to honor every insurance including Medicaid. When possible, we will request on your behalf to your insurance carrier to provide you coverage under our care in the event that we are not yet participating with with them. Prior to rendering any services we will contact your insurance company to verify benefits and potential costs to you.

We suggest that you contact our office regardless of your insurance to find out when we can start services. Someone is available during office hours by phone 810-545-7230 or via email anytime at info@welaughandlearn.com to help with this process.

If we do not file your insurance claims at this time, we will provide you with statements that you may submit to your insurance carrier or complete any forms as required by your insurance carrier in order to obtain reimbursement for out-of-network providers. In order to assist you with obtaining reimbursement for our services, your insurance carrier may require that we provide a clinical diagnosis, or additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of your child’s entire clinical record. In such situations, we will make every effort to release only the minimum information about you that is necessary for the purpose requested. This information will become part of the insurance company files and will probably be stored in a computer. Although all insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, we have no control over what they do with it once it is in their hands.

Be advised that many insurance plans do not pay for behavioral assessment or significantly limit the amount of coverage they provide for this kind of service, this is also true for assessment and therapy services for Autism Spectrum Disorders (or other services judged to be primarily educational in nature). Prior to assessment and the start of services we will verify your available benefits and discuss with you what will be considered your responsibility.

Signs and Characteristics of Autism

Parents may notice specific characteristics or behaviors in their child, and sense something is not quite right. Listen to these feelings! The following is a partial list and all children may exhibit other characteristics, or varied levels of the characteristics. Remember: no two people have the exact, same characteristics with autism. If you notice things are “different” about your child, you may not know exactly how to put the differences into words. It is important that parents are in tune to these concerns and discuss them with their health care provider as early as possible. Parents know their children better than anyone and are advocate for their well-being—do not delay! Early intervention is very, very important to improved outcomes with ASD.

According to the First Signs (http://www.firstsigns.org/concerns/flags.html) and Act Early websites (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html), the following are possible signs of ASD. If your child exhibits two or more of these signs discuss them with your primary health care provider.

Possible Signs

Communication:

• Difficulty expressing needs or wants
• Difficulty communicating in a functional or meaningful way.
• May cry or laugh for no apparent reason.
• Processing instructions or other forms of communication, or may seem to take a long time to understand an instruction.
• May demonstrate echolalia and repeat back words or phrases (from peers, parents, teachers, television, or other forms of verbal or media input).
• Difficulty or inability to engage in joint attention (i.e. share interest or objects with others, following gazes, point, gesture, or interact socially).

Behavior:

• May line up, spin, or show inappropriate attachment to toys or objects.
• May have frequent tantrums, aggression, or self-injurious behaviors (SIB).
• May demonstrate repetitive, stereotypic self-stimulatory (stimming) behaviors. This repetitive behavior can be in the form of actions (such as spinning, hand flapping, twitching fingers, etc.) or in the form of repetitive conversation (such as repeating words, phrases, sentences, reciting parts of movies over and over, etc.); it is behavior that does not seem to have a purpose, and interferes with daily living.
• May resist change—desire sameness.

Social:

• May appear aloof, deaf, or want to be alone.
• Difficulty taking another’s perspective or reading another person, reading body language, facial expression, or gestures (take others literally).
• Difficulty starting or sustaining a conversation.
• Difficulty with peer relationships.
• May not make eye contact.

Other:

• Sensory processing issues: hyper or hyper sensitive to sensory inputs.
• Particular about food choices and textures.
• Physically over or under activity.
• Over or under sensitivity to physical pain.
• Difficulty with fine and/or gross motor skills.
• Limited or no eye contact.
• Skills are Fragmented or Splintered—individual may be exceptionally strong in some areas while deficient in others (e.g. outstanding math skills but difficulty with reading and comprehending a book or story).
• Physiological issues—may have gastrointestinal issues, food allergies, and other medical concerns.


If a family is in crisis, what should you do?

In a medical emergency situation, a family is urged to first call 911. Each CMH also maintains employees who respond to crisis situations, including a 24-hour crisis line. Please refer to the map and contact information listed on the CMH’s website.

What are some resources on evidence-based practices and interventions?
1. Association for Science in Autism Treatment: www.asatonline.org
2. National Autism Center – review and analysis of interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and National Standards Project: www.nationalautismcenter.org877-313-3833
3. Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START): www.gvsu.edu/autismcenter, or phone: 616-331-6486
4. National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders: www.autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu 

Additional Resources For Parents

Applied behavior analysis can be a confusing field to fully comprehend especially if you have not heard of this practice before. When your child has autism, he or she may receive ABA. Applied behavior analysis is becoming much more highly recommended as the treatment of choice as it is an evidence-based practice for individuals with autism. This means that scientific literature has repeatedly shown that ABA has been an effective treatment for helping individuals with autism make progress and learn new skills.

Here is a list of some resources for parents to help you better understand the treatment (ABA) that your child may receive. I hope you find these resources useful.

A Parent’s Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis  
A Checklist for Parents: Recognizing Quality Providers 
Autism Teaching Methods 
Autism Speaks: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) 
What is ABA? (A Video)

Guidelines For Michigan ABA Services

Michigan Medicaid Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Services Provider FAQs

To view the chapter related to Michigan Medicaid Autism ABA services, please refer to the MDHHS Medicaid Provider Manual, Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Supports and Services Chapter Section 18. This manual can be found at www.mdch.state.mi.us

Other Autism Facts

• 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have an ASD (CDC Online).
• Approximately 16,590 children in Michigan public schools with Autism. (MDE2012)
• Michigan had the 5th largest autism population as compared to other U.S. states in 2007.
• Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S.
• Autism effects boys 4-5 times more often than girls (NIMH Online).
• Parents who have a child with autism have a 2%-8% more likely to have another child with autism (CDC Online).
• Approximately 40% of those with autism do not speak (CDC Online).
• Autism is a lifelong disability and those with autism live a normal life span.
• Estimated lifelong costs for those with autism depending on system supports will exceed $3.2 million (CDC Online).
• There is not a medical test to diagnose autism, nor is there a cure at this time.
• The symptoms of autism often can be greatly reduced with intensive early intervention; often leading to higher quality lives.

Our Flint Location

   5400 Gateway Centre, Suite E 
     Flint, Michigan, 48507

  (810) 545-7230

  info@welaughandlearn.com