My son was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Aspberger's Syndrome) years ago. After learning of the diagnosis, my family went into hyperdrive finding and scheduling appointments for various treatments through an assortment of specialists in occupational therapy and speech therapy for my son. After long hours, many appointments and countless miles on the car, my son is doing very well. Had I known that home therapy services for autism existed, my journey might have been a little easier.
I spoke to Lina Ghaith of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism to find out more abou the convenience of home therapy for ASDs. I also wanted to find out more about the recently signed Michigan Autism Reform Bill and how the new Michigan laws could benefit those seeking home therapy services for children with autism.
Oakland County Moms: How does Missing Piece Home Therapy Services work? Do families come to you after they receive an ASD diagnosis? Do you conduct IEPs? Take me through the process?
Lina Ghaith, Owner of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism: Missing Piece Home Therapy Solutions offers a variety of program options, which makes us a unique and customizable choice for families. Many of our clients come to us because they are looking for something to supplement services from public school, or they are looking for a more affordable option than center-based therapy. We have many options to offer, including: ABA-based programming, tutoring, potty-training, behavior plans, and IEP advocacy. We always make a free initial consultation appointment to meet the families and talk about goals. Following this appointment, we do an appropriate assessment to determine the child's strengths and weaknesses and begin the programming process.
Oakland County Moms: Do your programs cover the vast spectrum of autism? IE: From highly-functioning Aspberger's Syndrome to severely autistic?
Lina Ghaith, Owner of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism: Yes, we offer customizable programs for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome as well as children who would be considered to have severe autism. We take the time to determine the goals that are important to parents, as well as the goals that will help the individual lead a fulfilling life.
Oakland County Moms: What sort of things do you recommend parents do once you leave an appointment? Do you give a checklist of items you want parents to work on with the ASD child?
Lina Ghaith, Owner of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism: Since we work with the children in the home, parents are welcome to observe therapy sessions. We always give the parents a brief report following a session, as well as some suggestions for generalizing programs/work to the natural environment. Parents are also welcome to schedule monthly meetings with their therapist to discuss goals and progress in a more in-depth manner.
Oakland County Moms: Tell me about the convenience of treating a child in-home? Does it make a world of difference? Also, how equipped do your instructors have to be to make house-calls?
Lina Ghaith, Owner of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism: Many parents spend hours taking their children with special needs to various therapy appointments. Having a therapist come into the home saves both time and money for parents. It also gives the child the advantage of having a learning environment in which he or she is already comfortable. The therapists are also able to get a feel for the child's home life, and tailor therapy to the types of the things the child has or is expected to do at home. All of our therapists have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in education, psychology, or a related field. They must have experience with children with special needs prior to being hired. We also require an intensive training process that involves shadowing our more experienced therapists.
Oakland County Moms: Can you tell me if your services are covered by most insurances? If not, will they be soon because of the new laws concerning the Michigan Autism Reform Bill?
Lina Ghaith, Owner of Missing Piece Home Therapy Services for Autism: Currently, our services are not covered by insurance. Most of our rates are charged hourly, and are significantly discounted compared to the rates of center-based programs. Insurance reform is set to go through in the next 180 days, and we are working toward becoming providers for many Michigan insurance companies.
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