Thursday, November 27, 2008

Living with Autism and Surviving the Mental Health Loop

In this age, mental health services are becoming more and more difficult to define to the general public. What will the insurance or Medicaid cover and what is to be done if someone does not have any coverage are the frequent questions that are asked especially by parent care givers of individuals with Autism.

If not specializing in this area, one is to usually refer these parents to the Autististic Society in Atlanta but what afterwards? We’re not always dealing with child clients.
Many parents try to find services on behalf of their adult children. Now, does this change the criteria for having to serve and make the appropriate referrals for adults with Autism versus a child is the most common concern?

What will a person without any sufficient insurance expect to receive in return?
These questions are not posed out to confuse anyone but to evoke an awareness that is usually not present within the larger bodies governing our mental health treatment options available to families.

For instance, many of the community state funded mental health agencies in Georgia do not provide just medication management and will require another mental health diagnosis in order to serve a client with Autism. Second, a person with Autism who does not have a good support system or insurance whether private or public coverage will run into a problem as to how to pay for services.

It is as though clients with severely persistent mental health illness can be served by the low fee community agencies only if they meet a certain criteria. Many of the therapists at those agencies are not trained specifically to work with individuals with Autism and although many of us consider ourselves to be generalist and strive to provide a decent service we run into a brick wall when it comes to ensuring that we can provide a long term and adequate treatment to those most deprived of mental health services.

There is a growing need for therapists to receive more training in treating Autism that does not surpass the need for more services to be available for individuals of Autism not only children but adults and greater support availability for their families.
Copyright: Dr. Rossi Davis