Tuesday, 27 May 2014

9 Simple ways to build up documentation regarding your child's needs!

We have been busy with more assessments, in the last couple months we have had 3 autism assessments and 4 neuropsychology assessments.  It is a never ending cycle with complex children between being assessed, trying to get reports that support their diagnosis and trying to qualify/obtain support.  In order to obtain support in the form of therapies and/or educational assistance you need multiple specifically worded reports, that preferably aren't any older than 2 years old.

A lot of the time getting these larger assessments seems near impossible or is not financially feasible.  The waiting lists for our children to receive an autism assessment was 1-2 years depending on the child's age and that was the short list because they have a sibling with autism.  The neuropsychology assessments range in cost from $3500-5000 each which means finding a funding source to pay for these assessments.

To keep up with the demand for documentation regarding our children's conditions in order to gain educational and therapeutic support we need to be proactive.  We were extremely fortunate to receive these recent assessments however it took a lot of work getting to that place.  While waiting for assessments we gathered documentation on our children's challenges through other channels which aided in obtaining support and assessments prior to a full diagnosis.

9 Simple ways to build up documentation regarding your child's needs

Anytime you visit a specialist or your family doctor refers you to a specialist a letter is written - ask for a copy of this letter.  These letters will outline the condition that your family doctor wants your child seen for and the returning letter from the specialist will outline the findings and any course of treatment.

Anytime you are seen at a hospital emergency room or walk in clinic a report is sent to your family doctor - ask for a copy of this letter.

Every time a medical test is completed whether it is blood work, lab work, ultra sound, EEG, ECG, etc. a report is forwarded to your doctor - ask for a copy of these reports.  Having copies of any tests completed are beneficial when seeing any specialists so they don't need to reorder tests and can review the history.

If your child receives any therapy support (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc) ask for regular written updates and/or assessment reports.  Even if the public school system has your child seen by someone with in the school ask for a letter/report.

Keep copies of all report cards from school and any activities.  Quite often these reports have comments that help/support behavioral type diagnosis.

Keep copies of all Individual Education Plan's.

Ask for a written summary detailing everything discussed at meetings regarding your child. This is also beneficial for clarifying what you felt was discussed and agreed upon is what the other party also believes.  Also if you have any objections regarding what was included in the summary you can have it corrected.

Anytime there is a disciplinary or health related incident at the school or a community activity ask for a copy of the incident report.  These are beneficial in showing that the issues are happening in a variety of settings.

If your child is in the unfortunate position of requiring police involvement ask for a copy of the report.  Same goes for mental health.  You probably want to go back after the situation has been dealt with and ask for a copy of the report explaining that you are collecting information in order to obtain support for your child.

Store all of this information in a binder or folder that can be taken to any appointments.  It goes a long way in getting your child support when you can show documentation to support the challenges.

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