Many special needs children have health care provided through a state or federal program. 

And when your child receives SSI, you should be referred to health care services to your child.

Medicaid is a health care program for families who qualify based on income or limited resources. In most states, children who get SSI payments qualify for Medicaid.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who have been getting Social Security disability benefits for at least two years. A child can get Medicare immediately if he or she has Lou Gehrig's disease or has a chronic renal disease and needs a kidney transplant or maintenance dialysis.

The Children's Health Insurance Program is a health insurance program for children whose families make too much to allow them to qualify for Medicaid but whose income is still too low to afford private health insurance.

What types of treatments are available for my special needs child?

Medical treatment and therapies are different for every special needs child. How do you make sure your child is getting the care and therapy he or she needs?

Ask questions of his or her doctors. Most doctors and healthcare providers who care for and treat children with special needs are patient and caring. They are likely to explain your child's condition and treatment (and are used to talking with parents of special needs kids) than your regular doctor (who barely says 'hello' when you see him).

Take advantage of that. Write down questions, concerns, and changes your child has so you can talk to the doctor about it, especially if your child is only going to the doctor for check-ups. Schedule an appointment to meet with the doctor or therapist  to discuss your child's needs.

There may be advancements in medicine and therapy that the doctor knows about that may help your child. And keep up with changes in medicine and technology--good place to start is the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Cerebral Palsy) and their website at

And if your child is not getting one of the common therapies listed below, ask is or her doctor about it. And keep asking questions.

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Recreational Therapies
  • Treatments for problems with eating and drooling
  • Speech and language Therapy

For more information about this topic, head over to our resources page and get a free copy of our resource guide Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves. Have more questions? Give us a call at (202) 393-3200 and we will be able to answer your questions. 

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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