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Katie Beckett Waiver

March 15th, 2019

In 1981, President Reagan personally intervened when a mom reached out to him to share the story of her daughter, Katie Beckett. Katie contracted viral encephalitis at just five months old and spent the better part of three years in an Iowa hospital. Katie had Medicaid that covered her while she was an inpatient, however, when she was ready to go home, she was dropped from Medicaid simply because her parents made too much money. Therefore, their only option was to remain in the hospital. 

Impassioned that any parent could face this situation, President Reagan created the Katie Beckett Waiver with help from Congress through the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) which allowed Katie, and children like her, to retain their Medicaid coverage regardless of their parent’s income. This gives parents the option of taking care of their children at home instead of them remaining hospitalized. 

Currently, there is no program in Tennessee designed as a pathway to Medicaid for children with complex medical needs and long-term disabilities. Lacking options, some families have been forced to give up custody of their child just to get them the care they need. Other parents have gotten divorced just to reduce their household income and make their child eligible for TennCare. Some desperate families have permanently moved from Tennessee to a state with a program that covers their child. 

A Katie Beckett/TERFA Program in Tennessee would make Medicaid benefits available to children (age 18 or under) who qualify with a diagnosis of complex medical needs or a long-term disability. Representative Sam Whitson and Senator Kerry Roberts have filed a bill HB0498/SB0476 and are working on additional language to create this program through legislative action. Governor Bill Lee could include this in his budget proposal or our state legislature could include it. 

Do you have a child, or know of a child, with complex medical needs or a long-term disability that has been directly affected by Tennessee’s lack of coverage for children of middle-income families? Tell your story, and tell your legislators.

Join the movement alongside Family Voices of Tennessee at: http://www.facebook.com/FamilyVoicesofTN/ 

To share your story directly, please call: (615) 383-9442 or email: katiebeckett@tndisability.org

To contact our Siskin Children’s Institute Family Voices Coordinator, Lisa Spurlock, please call: (423) 648-1700 or email: lisa.spurlock@siskin.org 

Check out our local NewsChannel 9 station’s coverage of the Katie Beckett Waiver here.

Meet Jane, a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst in our Center for Developmental Pediatrics Program. Below, Jane describes what a day looks like for her here at Siskin:

"As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with Siskin, my day usually consists of going to families’ homes for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) sessions to work with children and meet with their families. ABA sessions are often conducted by behavior therapists (Registered Behavior Technicians) who work under the BCBA. When I go see a child for an ABA session, I spend time observing the therapist’s session, providing feedback and on-going training and support, as well as working 1:1 with the child. I review the data collected in previous sessions and make updates as needed based on the child’s progress. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s therapy sessions, so oftentimes we are all working together during sessions. I also check in with parents to see how their child is doing, and if they have any concerns or recent successes they would like to discuss. I talk with parents about their child’s behavior plan, and how they are doing in school and in their other therapies."

Have questions about our ABA program? Contact us at 423.490.7710 for more information or visit the ABA Therapy page on our website. You can also visit the Autism Speaks ABA page to learn more about ABA Therapy.

* Please note- a physician referral is required for ABA therapy services.

ABA Therapy

February 8th, 2019

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based form of therapy that focuses on increasing positive and helpful behaviors while also decreasing unwanted behaviors. It can help increase language and communication skills, improve focus, memory, and academic performance, and enhance social skills with peers and adults. ABA is oftentimes a primary tool when working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

ABA therapy is customized to meet the needs and goals of each child. Our team will work with each family to help develop these goals and strategies based on the child's interests and skills in order to increase positive and helpful behaviors.

Our growing ABA therapy program is ideal for children 18 months old to 12 years of age. Our team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians will work with each child and their family to develop an ABA program to meet the needs of that individual child.

* Please note- a physician referral is required for ABA therapy services.

Have Questions? Contact us at 423.490.7710 for more information or visit the ABA Therapy page on our website. You can also visit the Autism Speaks ABA page to learn more about ABA Therapy.

Coming soon: “A Day in the Life of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst”!

Posted by Siskin Admin  | Category: ABA, ABA Therapy

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