NC Looks To Help Disabled Children As Federal Aid Ends

North Carolina officials are trying to figure out how to pay for services for disabled infants and toddlers as federal funding ends.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that federal funding to help youngsters who have trouble walking or talking will end by July 1. Federal education laws require the services.

The program has provided therapists to go to homes and day care centers to show parents or teachers the best way to interact with young children to improve their physical and emotional development.

Pender County therapist Briana Kelly has started an online petition to keep the services and had nearly 400 signatures late Wednesday.

Brad Deen with the state Department of Health and Human Services says the services have cost Medicaid about $12 million in the past year.


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  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Jan 7, 2010 at 06:49 AM
    Concerning Obama, congress & federal aid: 1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Obama & congress are worse than an infidel. They send tens & hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to countries who hate the US. They should be eliminated for helping our enemies as well as cutting back aid to our own here in the US. Folks, lets vote candidates in office that have great record and accountability for looking out for their own fellow citizens, their families, the hungry & homeless as well as disabled children. What a shameful bunch of evil selfish people we have running our country. Vote for conservative Republicans which have Christian family values. They will care for their own fellow citizens!
  • by Banks student Mom and happy Location: Lenoir Co on Jan 6, 2010 at 01:18 PM
    Our family has private insurance through my husbands job. Our daughter had a speech delay and we had to pay out of pocket for her for 3 years. Our insurance didn't cover speech services. (other than the speech delay she has no other problems and is doing very well in school) She is now in kindergarten and receiving speech services through her school. I hope this cut doesn't change what she receives. It was a real strain paying every single week. We made it work but it was tough! We had to delay having our second child due to money issues. (He was born in January 2009) Take aim on the illegals and maybe this country wouldn't be feeling such a pinch. To Mary-You are a icey...Can't say the word but you know what!
  • by Health Care Professional Location: Greenville on Jan 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    The story doesn't quite convey all the facts. The Division of Medical Assistance has determined it will not reimburse for Community Based Rehabilitative Service (CBRS) effective 7/1/10. OT, PT, and speech-language services are not threatened by this decision, although their reimbursement rates have recently been reduced by nearly 20%. The NC Infant-Toddler Program is looking at how it can restructure/remodel in order to successfully deal with this decision. It's also possible that with direction from the NC General Assembly, DMA will alter their earlier decision.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 1, 2010 at 01:57 PM
    You can thank Obama for this one. ACORN is still getting money but they are cutting the funds that help treat chiildren? what a shame. Thanks for the change Obama.
  • by parent Location: LaGrange on Jan 1, 2010 at 07:12 AM
    I would like to sign online petition supporting services for disabled-special needs children. Referring to news account, what is the online address for Briana Kelly- Pender County therapist?
  • by okayheregoes on Dec 31, 2009 at 07:30 PM
    This program, if it is the one I am thinking about is not just for the people on Medicaid...it is aimed at all children under three years of age born medically disadvantaged (preemie, CNS disorders, etc). You have to qualify and you pay based on a sliding scale concurrent to your yearly wages...my own daughter was enrolled and evaluated and we def. do not/did not receive Medicaid or any public assistance. It's merely a program to help the families of these people receive the best care possible and coordinate the care plan that will best help the child respond to therapy. Get a grip...not all 'public' services deal with a handout.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 31, 2009 at 02:26 PM
    No education costs should be cut. Cutting programs like this is totally wrong. They should cut the programs for the people who are not legally here. That way they can afford programs, but guess what they will not do this. Get used to it, money will be misused forever.
  • by Love IT Program on Dec 31, 2009 at 09:22 AM
    I also have 2 children that received physical therapy services from the infant toddler program. It is a wonderful program that helps children that qualify. My husband and I both are in the workforce with college degrees (I have a masters)...I don't live off of anyone. But, insurance doesn't always pay for the entire service. The cost for families would be astronomical after several months of therapy. The IT Program is wonderful, and I hope they do not discontiue funding for it.
  • by parent Location: goldsboro on Dec 31, 2009 at 08:45 AM
    Obviously, some do not realize that parents who have children with disabilites pay taxes, too, and DO NOT have the $$'s to support the extravagnat life-style suggested. Most of these parents are hard-working, contributers to society who are doing the very best with the circumstances they are given. Perhaps, one should keep up to date on the alarming rise in rates of autism among children, which by the way is not even evident until toddler/pre-adolescence stages. Or is the suggestion that one should never have children because the fetus does not meet the level of perfection that is perceived by many? If so, I wonder about possible perfect generations who would by the way not even exist, that would protect our freedoms and this supposedly lavish lifestyle that each enjoy. I agree the federal/state/local government should handle our tax dollars better, much better. Wonder who should be tossed out, the one not working by choice, the elderly, or even our precious disabled children?
  • by TO MARY........Please Read Location: NC on Dec 31, 2009 at 07:57 AM
    Mary, I am a mother to child born at just 29 weeks. I had a good job, good insurance, etc.. After using all resources avail. at my job, I had to quit. My child was at Duke Childrens hospital for 3 months (having 4 surgeries to save her life). She now has to have ST & OT. I hope you never have to experience the emotional rollercoaster that some of US" parents have had. I made the choice to stay home with my child b/c of her medical conditions (which include, speech delay, decreased lung function, asthma, and dysphagia) with several of these causing aspiration which will lead her into respiratory distress. So DO NOT COME UP HERE with the thoughts that all parents with disabled children are seeking a hand out. Trust me when I say this, I DID NOT CHOOSE NOR DID I ASK FOR MY DAUGHTER TO NEED THERAPY. I pray that you NEVER have to experience the emotions that I have experienced. So, YES you are the only one who thinks these programs should be paid for by the parents!!!!!
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