Thursday, February 23, 2012

Step 2: Working the phones

Kiddo needs behavioral therapy and occupational therapy. Well, OK. No occupational therapists within 100 miles of us accept our insurance. Less OK. Our insurer says we can apply for an in-network exemption, if we can prove medical necessity. So I've been calling around to see if any OTs are willing to work with that. There are two possibilities, if we can manage to quit playing phone tag with each other.

I've also been yelling at having a polite and cordial discussion with the hospital that diagnosed him. I asked whether they would be sending us a written confirmation of the diagnosis, since the insurer asked for it, the school district asked for it, basically everyone would like a copy, please. The hospital said, "Oh, well, we sent you a report in 2010. We don't send reports for follow-up visits."

I said, "Yes, but the doctor didn't say he had ADHD in 2010. She said she saw borderline behaviors that might be explained by the recent move and school switch. This time, she said he had it."

"Oh, OK, I'll leave a message for the doctor."

A few days later I got a call from a different staff person. "You know we don't send reports for follow-up visits ..."

"Yes, but he wasn't DIAGNOSED in 2010 blah blah ad nauseam."

"Oh, that's not in the message here." Pause. "And I see nothing has been sent to the pediatrician's office yet, but it was supposed to be sent."

"Can I ask a question? Why does it feel like there is all this paperwork that is supposed to be done that isn't getting done? Why is it that I have to say the same thing to multiple people just to get what I want?"

Injured tone of voice. "Well, I said I'm going to send out the letter."

Look, I get that the hospital staff is probably massively overworked, and I'm sympathetic. But I'm still going to be dragon lady if I have to, because he's my son, and that's my job.

Also: Still waiting for the letter.

The folks at the school district have been helpful. Apparently there are two routes here: a 504 plan, in which they would provide certain services and classroom modifications for kiddo, and an IEP, which is (as I understand it) more involved, requires a special education teacher and can only be approved after an evaluation by the district's Child Study Team. The 504 coordinator wasn't sure which category we fell under, but she said she would check into it.

There are two behavioral therapists on our insurance in our immediate area, and one isn't accepting new patients. Fortunately the other is, so that's set up for next week.

When not on the phone, I've been studying. I found CHADD's site, which is seeming helpful. My friend C. recommended an instructional video called "The F.A.T. City Workshop," designed to teach parents and teachers what it's like in the classroom for kids with learning disabilities. It's pretty interesting, and also pretty long, which is why I fell asleep the other night trying to watch it all, laptop open next to me on the bed. I also found this site, which seems pretty informative. I say "seems" because geez, I've got a lot of reading to do here. Not even including the book my parents sent us by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Got it, thanks, guys.)

And how is kiddo through all this? He went to Defcon 1 tonight because the pasta he's decided he doesn't like was touching! his! plate! He calmed down noticeably when we told him he could finish his tantrum in his room. And then he ate all his asparagus. I have trouble getting too worked up about the picky eating when the only thing he eats off his dinner plate happens to be the vegetable.

He still thinks it's hilarious to run away instead of going to the bathroom, or instead of washing hands for dinner. Or to run into his sister's room when he's supposed to be getting ready for bed. Or just to run around randomly. Fortunately he's a little better about running in parking lots.

And he remembered how to write "music," and it even looked like a word. So ... tiny point for me?

1 comment:

  1. Points all over the place. Dude. I do not even pretend to have patience with hospitals anymore after dealing with all Mom's b.s. I just go straight to Flaming Bitch. Since it was at the hospital, you should try the patient advocate. It's their job to help you.