The Children’s Long-Term Waiver Program
Every child is born with the same capacity for achieving their best life regardless of their cognitive or physical limitations. Every child has the ability to feel joy, express frustration and want to do more. The natural curiosity of childhood is not erased by a disability though it may be altered, slowed down or need assistance to grow. Kenosha Human Development Services, in conjunction with the Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services and the State of Wisconsin, believes that children born with different abilities can achieve great strides given some extra support. We also know that the very best support comes from their own family and it’s important to maintain the child in the family home and community. At KHDS, we manage a portion of the Children’s Long-Term Care Waiver. This program provides children who have some kind of Medical Assistance with additional supportive services for which their MA would not normally pay.
One of the most-used services is respite. Parenting a family that has a differently abled child within it can be an awesomely hard task. Often, that child’s needs will take up most of the parents’ time, leaving little to no time for the other children or the parents to get away. Paid respite care can give the family a much-needed break while giving them the peace of mind knowing their child is with someone who is familiar with their child’s needs.
Another important service used is therapy that is not covered by Medical Assistance. Therapies such as hippotherapy – horse therapy – can help children with physical disabilities work on hip alignment and spinal issues as well as help children with Autism connect emotionally with the animal. Music therapy helps engage children with their fine motor skills and utilizes hand/eye coordination. Therapeutic items are also made available like weighted blankets, snuggle canoes and body socks which can help a child feel calm and in control, less anxious.
Home modifications are also made available to families through the CLTW program. Families often need wider door frames, wheel chair ramps, or porch lifts to accommodate their child in the home and this program can provide funding for those items. In some instances, this program can even modify or purchase accessible vehicles for the family.
Most children are eagerly waited for, nursery rooms made ready, and tiny clothing purchased. No one can honestly be prepared to hear that their newborn has a “flaw,” a cognitive disorder or a physical limitation. Parenting a differently abled child is both the most difficult and most rewarding job on earth. It’s important that programs like the Children’s Long-Term Waiver continue so these children and these families will always have the support and services they need. For more information call 262-764-8555 and ask for Sue Roknic.