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My son has been diagnosed as autistic and is attending a developmental

daycare facility. I asked if...
My son has been diagnosed as autistic and is attending a developmental daycare facility. I asked if they would be able or willing to provide one-on-one support within the classroom since I deduced from several comments that he spent a large portion of his class time simply following the teacher and not being properly engaged in the learning activities. I was told absolutely not and that his therapies were all the one-on-one time he would receive and that if I was that concerned with his one-on-one education and supervision I could take him out of the day treatment services and only have him attend the facility for his therapies. I was wondering if I might have any recourse or if I would simply have to accept their decision.
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Answered in 22 minutes by:
4/28/2013
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
Verified

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. How old is your son?

Customer:

A little over three and a half, he will be four in August.

Brandon M. :

Tell me a bit more about this developmental daycare facility. How many hours per week does your son attend?

Customer:

He goes Monday through Friday, getting on the van at a quarter to six in the morning and coming home around three in the afternoon. So on average he spends six hours a day actually at the facility, so thirty hours a week.

Brandon M. :

Is it a private facility, or is it run by the school district?

Customer:

Private.

Brandon M. :

Are you paying the facility out of pocket?

Customer:

No, it is covered by my sons' health insurance through both Tricare and state medicaid (primary and secondary respectively).

Brandon M. :

That makes sense. However, I do need a bit of clarification on question if that is the case. You asked if you might have any recourse of if you would simply have to accept "their" decision. Who is the "their" to which you are referring? In other words, who made the decision?

Brandon M. :

I apologize for the typographical errors in that sentence...

Brandon M. :

You probably understood, but I meant say "I do need a bit of clarification on the question if that is the case. you asked if you might have any recourse or if you would simply have to accept 'their' decision. Who is the 'their' to which you are referring? In other words, who made the decision?"

Brandon M. :

I apologize if I caused any confusion with my typos. Thank you for your patience.

Customer:

That's fine, it's late and to be expected. I believe her title was Classroom Education Coordinator, but I am honestly not sure of the specific wording. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure if I went any higher than her due to a multitude of other concerns and issues I have had in dealing with this daycare facility.

Brandon M. :

Thank you. So it was the decision of someone with the daycare facility then, is that correct?

Customer:

Yes.

Brandon M. :

Thank you. I should start by saying that because the nuances of every case are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, I am actually a parent of a 5 year old boy with autism and I would like to be clear that I completely understand where you're coming from with this--we're in the same club. Some of my kids' therapists have been great and some have been just mediocre. We've had to switch providers once already to get him what is best for his situation. I don't intend to focus on myself by telling you this and I hope that it doesn't come across that way, but I get it on a personal level.

But basically, when you're dealing with a private institution, there really is a take-it or leave-it power that the business has. They have their way of doing things and they have two choices--they can modify what they do to accommodate more clients and bring in more money that way, or they can do things their way and accommodate a specific but limited group of clients that their way of doing things benefits. If a client doesn't like their process, they can take it for what it's worth or they can leave and try to find someone else that does it better.

Brandon M. :

So nothing would generally prevent the client from leaving for a different facility, but the service provider can generally be as flexible or inflexible as they please. Naturally, it's nicer when they're flexible, but it's their loss if the clients leave because they aren't being served.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

I was afraid of that. I know that my son is covered somewhat under laws regarding disabled persons (although I do not think of him that way), but I was concerned that since he is not yet in the school system that the facility would not be held to the same special education standards.

Customer:

Yes it does.

Brandon M. :

How severe is your son's diagnosis?

Brandon M. :

If you don't mind my asking.

Customer:

He is low functioning, non-verbal, and has been diagnosed at almost a year younger developmentally than his actual age. He is making progress in his therapies and has shown improvement at home, but his aggression is getting worse.

Customer:

I don't mind at all.

Brandon M. :

That's rough. My son is diagnosed with classic autism. They have him as mild to moderate, which I have learned is still pretty disabled. He's about two years behind on average. He's further behind on some things than other.

Brandon M. :

He's been in therapy since just after he turned two. He has only one word sentences, but I'm convinced that he wouldn't even have that if not for all the therapy he has received.

Customer:

The one thing I am truly grateful for is that my son is not as opposed to affection and contact as some autistic children are. I would love to hear what he has to say, but I don't know how I would have handled the silence without the hugs.

Customer:

I can definitely relate. I think my son would benefit from an augmentative device, which was mentioned, but shot down because at the time he was too young. I brought it up with his current speech therapist and she did not really respond.

Brandon M. :

I'm with you there. My son shows affection in his very weird way, but we understand it. I use to want all these things for my son, but I realize now that all I really want for him is to be healthy, loved, and happy. Fortunately, he is all of those things. I know plenty of fully functioning adults who are miserable, so I'm actually ok with his condition.

Brandon M. :

An augmentative device... like what? What did you have in mind?

Brandon M. :

I know it's late. You don't have to stay up for this conversation. I won't be offended.

Customer:

I am working on getting him an iPad, but there are other kinds of speech aids covered by his insurance. I don't remember the name of the one offered at his old daycare, but it was basically a touch screen tablet, albeit a chunky one, that had different programs to facilitate communication. When I first saw him interact with it he showed interest so I really think he would benefit from it now.

Brandon M. :

We have proloquo for his ipad. It's a pretty outstanding piece of software for these kids.

Customer:

It's quite alright. I don't have many people to talk to who are in a similar situation. It's rather refreshing actually.

Customer:

Financially I was hoping for something approved by his insurance. It is definitely not easy being a single mom of two, especially when one of the two seems larger than life sometimes.

Brandon M. :

Well, the CDC says that we now have 1 out of 50 kids being diagnosed on the spectrum. That means about 1 out of 35 boys. There are tons of families like ours affected by this epidemic--it's just a matter of finding each other.

Brandon M. :

I appreciate the conversation. Thanks.

Customer:

You're welcome. So do I.

Brandon M. :

So I don't mean to go back to business too abruptly, but did you have any other question?

Customer:

Not at this time. Just wanted to bounce my original question off someone who would know the legalities involved and sadly proved me right. Not your fault, just the way it is.

Customer:

Usually I like being right. Not so much in this instance.

Brandon M. :

Amen.

Brandon M. :

Well, I hope that I was able to help you understand the law, even if it isn't good news.

Brandon M. :

Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating once you are completely finished. Thanks.

Customer:

You did and thank you.

Brandon M. :

My pleasure. Take care.

Customer:

You as well.

Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
Verified
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Brandon M.
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
12,620 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.

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