Originally, I was thinking of having this as M is for Meltdown, but I’ve already posted something similar within 5 calming strategies for meltdowns. So instead, M is for Medicaid and Mental Health in our next part of the Autism A to Z series. And can you believe we’re halfway through? There are a few that I already know what to post and others that I’m coming up blank. Hopefully I’ll have something by that time though. And since we’re midway through the week, I’m also starting to think of a new printable pack for Friday!
What Is Medicaid?
If you are a low income family and/or your child receives SSI (Supplemental Security Income), chances are that you should also qualify for medicaid. In New York, Sweet B’s SSI was an automatic qualifier for Medicaid and as long as she receives SSI, she will also receive Medicaid. But this varies from state to state and you should check with your local office of social services to see what you need to qualify.
Medicaid will cover your health and dental needs in addition to a myriad of other health related services. For us, it helps to cover her tuition to Wildwood in addition to helping us access various programs that are run through our OPWDD (Office for People With Developmental Disabilities) office. Our Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) helps us to access these services which includes things like a clothing fund and respite care.
Having Medicaid means being able to provide Sweet B with things that she needs and provide our family with additional support.
Mental Health and Autism
Mental health issues such as anxiety issues, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and depression can definitely exist alongside autism. We’ve already discussed other issues that can exist in our Comorbidity and Autism post, but today I want to specifically get into mental health.
Some individuals with autism may already exhibit some traits of a mental health issue (such as OCD or Social Anxiety) and their autism may complicate this issue further. Or your child might be non-verbal and unable to express that they are having issues with anxiety or depression.
In that case, how do you help?
Seek a professional if you suspect that your child may also have a mental health issue. This may start with your child’s pediatrician or with a school social worker.