Read about what Makes Sensory Towne such a Special Place

HCBS waiver what is it and how can it help my family?

Can someone just tell me where to start…..

Like most of you parents of children with special needs, I was constantly researching ways to help my son Brandon get the services he needs.  Also, like most of you parents I ran into many stumbling blocks in getting those services due to income restrictions, asset restrictions, lack of information, lack of funding availability, not knowing the right person or even not knowing how and what to ask for on top of all the lengthy, complicated paperwork that had to be filled out in its entirety without mistake or said mistake would cost you months or even years of non-service.  Totally frustrating system. Let me help you!

What does HCBS mean?

Home and Community Based Services.  This is person centered care delivered in the home and community.  It is designed to allow for individuals to stay in their homes instead of receiving services in a facility for care.  This program is housed under Agency for Persons with Disabilities.  It is considered the payer of last resort.  Meaning all other means to pay for service has been exhausted.

What can it cover for my child (under 21)?

  • Respite Care so you can take a break
  • Personal Care Supports
  • Environmental Modifications such as making a bathroom handicapped accessible
  • DME (Durable Medical Equipment)
  • Consumable medical supplies such as vitamins
  • Medicaid for as long as child is on waiver and more

Eligibility Criteria

Must be diagnosed with one of the following: Intellectual Disability (Full Scale IQ of 70 or below) Severe forms of Autism, Spina Bifida cystica or myelomeningocele, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi syndrome, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Must live in Florida, must be at least 3 years of age or more and have a disability that started before the age of 18.  This is not based on income of the parents/guardian, but it is based on the income of the child. (There are ways to safeguard this income criteria for your child that we will talk about in another blog post)

Now you have qualification, and you get excited, but hold on they now tell you there is a 7 to 10-year waitlist. What to do next.

What is the Waitlist?

The Waitlist is exactly what is says. I list of individuals waiting for services.  Due to budget issues not all people that qualify for the waiver will get services right away.  This depends on if you have an emergent need.  Even though they tell you it will take 10 years to get off the waitlist, apply and get on the waitlist.  Periodically they will give temporary services to people on the waitlist.  Also once you are on the waitlist your can apply for a crisis defined as  homeless, exhibit life-threatening behaviors that place them or others in extreme danger, or have a caregiver who is in extreme duress and can no longer provide for the applicant’s health and safety.  Examples of this can be a caregiver that is having difficulty transferring a child due to back problems, a child that runs out of house or away from the parents putting himself in danger, a child that is aggressive to others causing injury or a self-injurious child.  My son got services due to PICA (he eats un-edible items.)

How to apply

Click on the link below and get your application

http://apd.myflorida.com/forms/Attachment-D-Application%20for%20Services%2017-09-06.pdf

After completing the application, include proof of eligibility (i.e. medical records showing diagnoses, psychological evaluations etc.).  Also, must send proof of domicile such as driver’s license, voters’ registration, homestead exemption etc.

Call 1-844-865-1172 Easter Seals for directions to send documents.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, take it one application at a time.  You are a superstar!

Resources for Special Needs Children in Jacksonville

July 29th, 2019 by Kimberly Belzer Uncategorized Tags: , , ,
     

Birth to 3 

You may have already started scrolling the internet for available resources for your child that has been newly diagnosed or needs some additional assistance.  It can be very confusing and overwhelming.  Lets start at the beginning:

Northeastern Florida Early Steps

If you suspect your child has a delay or is newly diagnosed, you can seek help through the State of Florida’s Early Steps system.  This program is at no cost to the family and is not income qualified.  It is for children birth to 3 years of age. You can self-refer or get your child’s pediatrician to refer you for an evaluation.  If your child was a preemie and weighs under 1200 grams at birth they automatically qualify as an established condition.

No Cost to you Developmental Evaluations

They will do a developmental evaluation to determine if your little one needs services.  Here is a link to qualifications. Early Steps Qualifications   Services can be speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, infant/toddler development specialist and more.  Therapy is done in the natural environment, so in the home and/or daycare or community. They have playgroups so that you can meet other families and your children can have opportunities to play in an inclusive environment.  To reach them to schedule an evaluation you can call 904-360-7022.

Private Insurance

If you have insurance and want to set up private therapy apart from Early Steps there is other really great resources in town.  Call you insurance company and ask for in-network providers for the therapy that you are searching for.  If your child has Medicaid then there will not be any copays for therapy sessions with Medicaid. 

Stay tuned to our blog for more valuable resources and services for your family.

A Community of Special Needs Helping Special Needs in Jacksonville, FL.

May 6th, 2019 by Kimberly Belzer Uncategorized

IN THE BEGINNING …

Your child is born with special needs

Your child is born with special needs and you are suddenly thrown into a world of acronyms, long, hard to pronounce medical terms, specialists, therapists, lots of extra appointments, diets and lots of advice from well meaning strangers, friends and family but no real solutions.  Your head is spinning and you suddenly feel isolated with nobody to turn to that is going through what you are going through. You scour the internet for answers but you become more lost then when you logged onto the computer because there is so much conflicting information online.  You are not sure where to even begin or what to search or seek out.

Take a deep breath..

Take a deep breath, there are many parents right here in the community that can lend you a hand.  Look up and look around, you will become an expert in recognizing these mommy’s and daddy’s because we all share a common mission, to have our children receive the best care and resources available. The best resources and information that I found for my son when he was small and even now was from talking to other parents that have children with different abilities in varying stages of development.

Community help is on the way

This community of families and their children are strong, informed, educated in the needs of their children and are like the FBI in locating resources for their children to flourish.  The most amazing part of these families is that they are excited to share what they learned with you to make your road a little easier. So the next time you are out and about, look around, you may be surprised who was meant to cross your path to lend you a hand and help you find the answers you have been struggling with.  Lifetime bonds are made this way!

 

Carrie

"I took my son here for his first birthday today and he had so much fun!!! This place is a hidden gem! It’s absolutely amazing ☺️ the owner is amazing and so friendly. I felt so welcomed and my son had a blast! Highly recommend this place!!!"

-Carrie (Parent)
2019-04-25T18:44:56+00:00
-Carrie (Parent)
"I took my son here for his first birthday today and he had so much fun!!! This place is a hidden gem! It’s absolutely amazing ☺️ the owner is amazing and so friendly. I felt so welcomed and my son had a blast! Highly recommend this place!!!"

Dalia

"My kid loves this place. Extremely clean and friendly staff. I highly recommend this place. Always have something new added."

-Dalia (Parent)
2019-04-29T20:58:29+00:00
-Dalia (Parent)
"My kid loves this place. Extremely clean and friendly staff. I highly recommend this place. Always have something new added."

Angelina

"Today we went on a field trip with our daycare to Sensory Towne and our students loved it! The staff were friendly, inviting, and very interactive with our students. The environment was very clean and engaging for not only the students but the parents as well. We will definitely be booking more field trips in the future."

-Angelina (Teacher)
2019-04-29T20:58:42+00:00
-Angelina (Teacher)
"Today we went on a field trip with our daycare to Sensory Towne and our students loved it! The staff were friendly, inviting, and very interactive with our students. The environment was very clean and engaging for not only the students but the parents as well. We will definitely be booking more field trips in the future."

Courtney

"Love it here. As a therapist I can bring kiddos in to play and accomplish goals we are working on. The staff is super friendly and helpful. This is a total judge free space and there is a lot of activities for the kids."

-Courtney (Therapist)
2019-04-29T20:58:46+00:00
-Courtney (Therapist)
"Love it here. As a therapist I can bring kiddos in to play and accomplish goals we are working on. The staff is super friendly and helpful. This is a total judge free space and there is a lot of activities for the kids."

Samara

"My toddler alwaysss has a fun time here! One of our favorites. And the owner is the sweetest.  Highly recommended!"

-Samara (Parent)
2019-04-29T20:58:49+00:00
-Samara (Parent)
"My toddler alwaysss has a fun time here! One of our favorites. And the owner is the sweetest.  Highly recommended!"

Clara Testimonial

"Amazing place! The owner is great, she is very enthusiastic and loves kids. There are classes, special events, and free play as well. It's perfect for a rainy day or when it's too hot outside for the park. There is always something to do at Sensory Towne!"

-Clara K. (Parent)
2019-06-29T01:51:39+00:00
-Clara K. (Parent)
"Amazing place! The owner is great, she is very enthusiastic and loves kids. There are classes, special events, and free play as well. It's perfect for a rainy day or when it's too hot outside for the park. There is always something to do at Sensory Towne!"

Danielle

"My son who just turned 3 LOVES this place!! We like to attend the Wednesday morning art classes!!There is so much to do, super clean and the owner is so sweet! We will definitely keep coming back!! ☺️"

-Danielle (Parent)
2019-05-07T00:59:00+00:00
-Danielle (Parent)
"My son who just turned 3 LOVES this place!! We like to attend the Wednesday morning art classes!!There is so much to do, super clean and the owner is so sweet! We will definitely keep coming back!! ☺️"

Lisa K

This birthday party was the most fun! The staff was fantastic.  I cannot give them enough credit for how amazing they were.  The made sure we were taken care of.  They handled prepping, clean up, make sure all guests plates and cups were full.  We did not lift a finger.  Miss Kimberly was engaging and sweet and has done a wonderful job with Sensory Towne. Best birthday ever!

Lisa K (Parent)

2019-10-14T18:50:49+00:00

Lisa K (Parent)

This birthday party was the most fun! The staff was fantastic.  I cannot give them enough credit for how amazing they were.  The made sure we were taken care of.  They handled prepping, clean up, make sure all guests plates and cups were full.  We did not lift a finger.  Miss Kimberly was engaging and sweet and has done a wonderful job with Sensory Towne. Best birthday ever!