New country, new challenges, new tools
Eight-year-old Adam and his family immigrated to the United States from the United Arab Emirates a few years ago. They were excited to experience a new culture, language, foods and friendships. They didn’t expect one of the things they were looking forward to the most to became one of the most difficult things to navigate.
The systems, plans and meetings related to accessing services for Adam, who has autism, were countless and confusing: Medicaid, CHIP, private insurance, therapies, schools, IEP, ARD.
When Adam’s dad switched jobs, he was no longer eligible for CHIP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid or any federal programs. Adam lost access to case management and therapies that were critical for Adam’s success. That’s when they were connected to Any Baby Can’s Comprehensive Advocacy and Resources for Empowerment (CARE) program.
CARE is a short-term case management program for children with a medical diagnosis and a defined need. The goal is to empower the family with the skills to navigate resources for their child.
Our CARE team helped Adam’s parents navigate private insurance, locate a new primary care doctor, access speech, occupational and behavioral therapy, and navigate special education services.
And they were able to access Any Baby Can’s services for free. We work with families with Medicaid, CHIP, private insurance or no insurance at all.
With a caring case manager by her side, Adam’s mom built the confidence and skills she needed to ask the right questions about insurance plan benefits, identify and initiate private therapies, obtain referrals, advocate for her son at school meetings for special education, and so much more.
“Any Baby Can helped us find the right way to access medical care and medical providers. I feel more confident making calls, accessing information online, contacting my insurance company, participating in the ARD (Admissions, Review and Dismissal) meetings at school,” says Adam’s mom, Rand.
While the child with the diagnosis and medical need is the enrolled client, we understand that needs come up for other family members. In fact, when Adam’s older sister was applying for a magnet middle school, our CARE team assisted the family in that process as well. When we support the whole family, considering each person’s education, health and family goals, then we better support the client.
The family has also taken advantage of respite funds and parent’s night out events to give Adam a fun, safe environment while Rand spends time with her other kids or her husband. Mom and dad now feel more connected to a community and able to meet their family’s needs.
“Any Baby Can has done amazing things for our family. It’s been a great opportunity to meet other families and children,” adds Rand.
Adam’s parents are engaged and proactive in this health and development. They just needed a few tools to make services accessible and goals attainable.