Do you know how to Navigate Texas?
As a parent of a child with special needs, do you know how to find the Texas disability resources you need?
I remember when I started my journey as the parent of a young child with autism. A long time ago – in the 80’s. Sam was just 2 years old when he was given an autism diagnosis – very rare at that time. I was a sponge trying to soak up everything I could learn that would help my son, locating every service and support that would lead to his best present and future outcomes. Twenty five years later, parents coming to Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas are much the same. Always searching for what is best for their child!
Though I served with many local and state boards and councils when my son was younger, hoping to impact the quality of services for individuals with special needs, it was a very different world.
Instead of doing an online search for the IDEA side by side rules and regulations to help plan for ARD meetings, I carted around my second bible, a fat, dog-eared, paper copy of the federal law/state regulations side by side, with tabs and highlighted areas.
Then, of course, I needed to understand about other resources available for my son, through Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC), because I knew my son needed help beyond the school districts responsibility and my ability. I had thick copies of handbooks for every department that could help my son.
And every time I did advocacy or wanted to develop a relationship with someone who could help my son or others with special challenges, I wrote a letter! Yes, and mailed it in an envelope with a stamp. I would then follow up with a phone call to be sure my letter was received.
A letter is a nice thing to receive and some paper resources feel indispensable. But now we have the internet. We can pull up, save and highlight meaningful information on our tablets, laptops and computers. We can cut and paste regulations and statistics into emails and instantly know if our correspondence is received. So that is why I want you to visit Navigate Life Texas.
As a caregiver or parent of a child with unique physical, medical or developmental challenges, you are always searching for important resources and opportunities to network with others facing similar challenges. Do you need Texas resources for Down syndrome? Autism resources in Texas?
I am excited to say that the Texas Interagency Task Force for Children with Special Needs, with the support of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), has launched a great resource for families, professionals, and caregivers. The Navigate Life Texas Website, which is full of critical information, was launched in January of 2015. This website, full of important facts and links, is the gateway to gaining much of the services and supports your child will need now and later. Education, waiver programs, vocational information, Medicaid information. The list goes on.
Here are some specific links to resources at Navigate Life Texas that families should visit:
Your Child’s Right to a Public Education in Texas
Insurance and Financial Help for Children with Special Needs in Texas
Texas Waiver Programs for Children with Disabilities
Another great resource:
Texas Education IDEA and State Regulations Side by Side.
Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas provides pediatric occupational and speech evaluation and therapy in McKinney, Frisco, and Plano. We are network providers for many major insurance plans. Please call us if we can be of assistance. 972-424-0148.