Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The latest bureaucratic conundrum

Caden was recently denied services by our Department of MH/MR (Mental Health/Mental Retardation). They said he isn't eligible. As in, he did so well on their testing that he does not qualify as having mental retardation. This does not impact the therapies he receives through the school district or his eligibility for Medicaid which are the most helpful tools to us. But there are some funds we will miss out on. For instance I was planning on using his FDSS (Family Driven Funds) to have Caden start hippotherapy, aka therapeutic horseback riding. This is simply not affordable to us without that help. We have worked so hard to get where we are with Caden and he is doing very well. But he's doing well because of all these various therapies and program. Seems odd to take them away when they are clearly having an impact. You know, if it ain't broke..... At least I didn't expect them to change anything until he started kindergarten. We do have the option to submit our own IQ test and challenge their decision at any time. But I hate that we as parents are now put in the position of having to call them back and say "No, he really isn't as smart as you say." The protective mom in me wants to fight to keep his services but the proud mom in me wants to scream to the world that my son has been officially recognized for his brilliance and not just his striking good looks!

It was a tougher decision than I expected but we decided to forgo the MR label. The school will automatically redo the IQ test in 2 years before Caden starts school so we'll just see where he is at that time. I have half a mind to march my little genius into my OB's office to make sure that when the doctor scares the next prenatally diagnosed woman out of her wits with all the things that could be associated with DS, that he is certain to also share a lot of positive possibilities like this too. Never in my furthest stretch of a hope during my pregnancy did I imagine a scenario where Caden wouldn't qualify as having some degree of mental retardation. I assumed from all the info I received from the professionals that MR was a given. The last line of Caden's denial from the MH/MR Department said "Caden blew his test scores out of the water - way to go!" Caden is also blowing his mommy's mind. Heck yeah, way to go!


Mommy to those Special Ks said...

WTG Caden! We ran into this same problem when Kennedy was transitioning out of Early Intervention into the school system. Due to her test scores she did not qualify for the Special Needs pre-school... even though she has Down syndrome. I seriously looked at those people as if they had lost their freaking minds! My thoughts were the same as yours: "Could it BE that she is doing so well BECAUSE of the intervention?! So you want to WAIT and NOT continue to help her, so she'll fall behing... and then you'll play catch up." Duh. I hate it! Anyway, it's a fine line... and we too were told we could have her re-evaluated, and we too chose not to. Such is the life of an advocate for our kids :). Keep on keeping on Caden! You're a rock star!

Kristi Mantoni said...

That is such wonderful news and a tiny (oh so tiny) bit of a bummer. I'm sure Caden would have loved the horses! Maybe the place has a scholarship of some kind. There has got to be some rich folks that would love to help you out.