Monday, June 13, 2005

Clinic Notes: Who pays for treatment?

In Tennessee, the state where I practice, the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) will pay for health care services for a child up to age 3. Pediatricians, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and other specialities are covered. And this is a good system if the child is diagnosed early enough. Parents of children under three, especially first time parents, do not know if their child has a developmental delay or is just a little slower than other children. For that reason, professionals are not consulted. Autism is one disorder that is not usually diagnosed until the child is nearly three. And then TEIS can no longer pay for needed services. I often have children, diagnosed with autism or some other neuropsychological disorder, present at my clinic and I only have a few weeks to work with them before they turn three. What happens then is the subject of my next post. Dr. Brown

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