If you are a parent of a disabled child in Florida, then you are familiar with APD (Agency for Persons with Disabilities), the process and the ongoing challenges to prove your child's need for services.
In 1997 Joel's school counselor, teacher, psychiatrist and nurse decided to do an intervention with me because Joel had become extremely violent with them. I was devastated and embarrassed but I understood their concerns.
I explained the difficulty I was having getting behavioral services approved and the ongoing nightmare with the application. The school referred me to PARC (Pinellas Association for Retarded Children) and I immediately felt relief. PARC guided me through the process and completed many of the forms with me. As a matter of fact, PARC was the first behavioral group home Joel attended.
Truth be told, unless you have a clear understanding of the requirements, they are nearly impossible to meet. Without proper guidance from service providers, parents and families are lost and left behind. But the biggest fear amoung families with disabled members is regress. Do you remember the old mental institutions? Click on link below and turn up the volume but PLEASE DO NOT VIEW THIS CLIP IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH OR HEART http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgUw4n4hJo&feature=related
So, How Does It All Work? Why are these providers a vital part of this process? Below is a video link, I REALLY HOPE YOU DO WATCH.
Two things I hope you take from this video 1)empathy for the advocates who are dedicated to helping the mentally disabled and their families live better lives and 2)a new found appreciation for the need to fund these services.
Visit www.TheBehaviorAnalyst.com/FreeVideos.aspx and scroll to the bottom left side of the page to access the video entitled Consumer Services under the Florida Medicaid Waiver
Hat off to all Service Providers...with out you, we would be lost.