We Need To Hear We Are Doing A Good Job
This is, of course, true of every parent, but it is especially true of parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Raising a child with autism is a lifelong learning curve. As more and more is learned about the biology of autism, parents must keep up with new therapies and decide if they would be right for their child. For instance, there are new supplements, dietary concerns, and feelings about a new friend or teacher. The list of things to keep parents up at night is a long one.
Attending Schools And Colleges
Updated guidance for schools and colleges supporting children and young people with SEND has been issued. Schools and colleges are open, enabling children and young people to continue with face-to-face education. Remote learning should be provided for any children and young people who have to remain at home because they are self-isolating.
What To Say & Not To Say
People with intellectual or developmental disabilities may find it hard to do many things most of us take for granted.
These disabilities can mildly or profoundly limit their ability to learn, socialize and take care of their everyday needs.
You may not be able to know that someone has this disability unless you are told, or you notice the way they act, ask questions or use body language.
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We Know Best When It Comes To Our Autistic Children
All parents know their own children best, but this statement is especially true of parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Most parents of autistic children have spent countless hours researching and consulting with doctors. They know their childrens ticks and the best ways to avoid meltdowns. Autism Speaks advises other parents keep the unsolicited parenting advice to themselves, saying, Do ask the family whether theres something you can do to help, but he prepared for a no.
If You Change Your Name
If you change your nameby marriage, divorce or court orderyou need to tell Social Security right away. If you do not give this information, your benefits will be issued under your old name and, if you have direct deposit, payments may not reach your account. If you receive checks, you may not be able to cash them if your identification is different from the name on your check.
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Is Autism A Developmental Disability
Yes, autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability, based on a neurodevelopmental disorder. The disorder occurs when brain development is impaired by a number of structural and functional abnormalities.
These developmental abnormalities begin in the fetus and continue through childhood. Most of these abnormalities are caused by a number of faulty genes, and the many possible combinations of these genes may explain why there are so many different ways that autism can appear.
Abnormalities that occur in autism are also influenced by environmental factors that disrupt normal brain formative processes. Some of these occur during pregnancy while others occur after birth.
These genetic and environmental factors result in impaired brain development, beginning during pregnancy and ending when the brain stops developing in adulthood .
Childhood Autism & Disability Benefits
As previously mentioned, children with autism can only be eligible for receiving SSI benefits. To be eligible for benefits, children one through three must meet at least one of these requirements. Children between the ages of three and eighteen must meet at least two:
- Communication difficulties demonstrated through psychological and language tests
- Severe impairment in age-appropriate functioning and with children of the same age
- Limited ability feed, bathe, dress, or otherwise care for him or herself
- Difficulties with concentrating on tasks and the pace of which tasks are completed
These requirements must be documented by teachers, parents, doctors or caregiver statements, as well as through standardized tests.
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Determining If Autism Qualifies You For Disability Benefits
The SSA has a very specific method in place for determining whether an SSDI or SSI applicant with autism should qualify for disability benefits. The SSA will pass the application on to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination for a review by a physician and disability examiner team. The BDD will evaluate the claim to determine if autism spectrum disorder meets these requirements.
There is medical evidence that the applicant has measurable deficits affecting:
- Communication and social interaction and
- Substantially limited, repetitive patterns of behavior, activities, or interests.
Severe limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace and/or
- Adapting or managing oneself.
Ssdi Vs Ssi Disability For Adults And Children On The Autism Spectrum
Children with autism may be eligible for SSI disability benefits if their family’s income and assets aren’t above the SSI limits. For more information, see our section on financial eligibility for SSI.
An adult with autism syndrome can apply for SSI or SSDI. However, SSDI is available only to those with a work history from jobs that paid Social Security taxes. For adults, keep in mind that satisfying the requirements of a disability listing is not the only way to be approved for disability benefits. Individuals whose claims are not approved on the basis of meeting a listing may still be approved on the basis of what is known as a medical-vocational allowance.
An “adult child” of a parent receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, meaning a child over the age of 18 who has had autism before turning age 22, can get SSDI benefits on the earning record of the parent. For more information, see our article on disability benefits for adult children.
What Is Considered To Be Autism
There are a number of conditions that are subsumed under the categories of Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Pervasive Developmental Disorders . Conditions of this class can cause impairments in social interaction, independent living, and communication. An ASD or PDD condition is typically diagnosed within the first three years of a childs life. While there are no known cures for autism and related conditions, many individuals affected by the condition can achieve higher levels of functioning after treatment and within a supportive environment.
What Happens When Your Child Turns 18
At 18, Social Security considers your child an adult and different rules are used to determine if an adult can get SSI disability payments. Starting at age 18, SSI no longer will consider the income and resources of family members when deciding whether an adult meets financial limits. If your child is already receiving SSI, Social Security will review their medical condition when they turn 18. If your child was not eligible for SSI before their 18th birthday because of financial limits, they may become eligible at 18 and should apply again.
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Im Not An Autism Expert
If you want to learn more about autism and what its like to be autistic, there is one reliable source: a person on the Autism Spectrum. Parents of autistic children can tell you what it is like to live with a person on the Spectrum. They are experts on their own child. But the only person who can tell you what its like to live with autism is an autistic person himself.
When And How To Apply
If you do qualify for the tax credit, you must submit your forms along with your tax return. In order to avoid any delays in processing , you can send your forms to the CRA at any time during the year.
However, if you do not earn an income, you could also be eligible for the Registered Disability Savings Plan . Any grants and loans that you may be eligible for in this regard would be dependent on the previous years earnings.
If you havent claimed your appropriate credits in previous years, dont worry. You can claim your credits with the CRA up to two previous years with just a written request explaining what youre claiming and why.
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Other Benefits You May Be Able To Get
Supplemental Security Income
If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get SSI. SSI is a federal program that provides monthly payments to people age 65 or older and to people who are blind or disabled. If you get SSI, you also may be able to get other benefits, such as Medicaid and food stamps.
For more information about SSI, ask for Supplemental Security Income .
After you receive disability benefits for 24 months, you will be eligible for Medicare. You will get information about Medicare several months before your coverage starts. If you have permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a transplant or you have amyotrophiclateral sclerosis , you may qualify for Medicare almost immediately.
Help for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries
If you get Medicare and have low income and few resources, your state may pay your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, other out-of-pocket medical expenses such as deductibles and coinsurance. Only your state can decide if you qualify. To find out if youdo, contact your state or local welfare office or Medicaid agency. Also, more information is available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling the Medicare, toll-free number, . If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call TTY .
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Taking Care Of Yourself
This is likely to have been a difficult time for you as a family carer as well as for the person that you support. You may continue to experience increased stress due to fear, uncertainty and the reduced formal support available at times, which could result in increased physical and emotional strain.
Government advice for unpaid carers has a section on looking after your own health while supporting others.
Carers UK has some advice for carers on protecting your mental wellbeing.
If you start feeling that you are unable to cope, seek support and advice from your local authority.
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Autism And Social Security Disability
Autism is a type of developmental disorder that many children have. It often negatively impacts the childs ability to communicate with peers, understand appropriate social cues, or interact in a way that is deemed typical or appropriate for a child within the same age group. The autism spectrum is broad.
Some people have more severe cases where they are non-verbal and unable to properly communicate with others around them, while others have high-functioning cases where they can do most things. When someone has autism, they may want to apply for Social Security Disability. Autism is considered a disability because of the different ways that it can impact a child or even an adult with the condition.
Disability Benefits For Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder , is a group of related brain disorders that are characterized by impairments in the ability to communicate, behave and interact. Several individuals who are diagnosed with autism may have symptoms severe enough to prevent them from engaging in activities of daily living as well as prevent them from working and maintaining employment in the work force. These individuals who are struggling may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration .
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What Is Considered A Disability
The Americans with Disabilities Act gives the following as a legal definition of a disability: a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the following medical definition of a disability: any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities and interact with the world around them .
If one wants to distinguish whether or not autism is a disability, one needs to look at the characteristics of autism. NIMH states that ASD is a developmental disorder, called because symptoms usually occur during the first two years of development. It affects a childs communication and behavior, and the types of symptoms span a wide range, some being more severe than others. ASD is the umbrella that includes autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome.
A child with autism could present with some of the following:
Incentives That Help You Go To School Work And Save
SSI and many other government benefits programs have strict limits on how much income and savings you can have. If you go over the limits, you will no longer get benefits. The problem is that sometimes these limits end up preventing people from working and saving.
When the government realized that these limits were actually stopping people from getting jobs, saving money, and living better, they created work incentives like the Student Earned Income Exclusion , Plans to Achieve Self-Support , Individual Development Accounts and ABLE Accounts that help you earn and save money without losing your benefits.
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Are You Eligible For The Disability Tax Credit
These tax credits are aimed at families in which one or more of the children have a disability.
In order to be eligible for the Child Disability Benefit , the child must be first eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit which is a program geared towards helping all families care for children under the age of 18.
The CDB, or Disability Tax Credit, is not available for all children with disabilities, however autism is generally included. The government states that eligible children must have a disability which is severe and prolonged continuous for a period of at least 12 months which of course, is true for those affected by autism.
In order to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, a qualified practitioner must attest to the childs disability on one of the forms to be submitted for review by the Canada Revenue Agency .
Reviewing Your Medical Condition
All people receiving disability benefits must have their medical conditions reviewed from time to time. Your benefits will continue unless there is strong proof that your condition has improved medically and that you are able to return to work.
Frequency of reviews
How often your medical condition is reviewed depends on how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review.
- Medical improvement expectedif your condition is expected to improve within a specific time, your first review will be six to 18 months after you started getting disability benefits.
- Improvement possibleif improvement in your medical condition is possible, your case will be reviewed about every three years.
- Improvement not expectedif your medical condition is unlikely to improve, your case will be reviewed only about once every five to seven years.
What happens during a review?
You will receive a letter telling you that they are conducting a review. Soon after that, someone from your local Social Security office will contact you to explain the review process and your appeal rights. The Social Security representative will ask you to provide information about your medical treatment and any work that you may have done.
When a decision is made, they will send you a letter. If they decide that you still are disabled, your benefits will continue.
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The Blurred Line Between Autism And Intellectual Disability
Doctors often conflate autism and intellectual disability, and no wonder: The biological distinction between them is murky. Scientific progress depends on knowing where the conditions intersect and part ways.
by Emily Sohn / 15 April 2020
Soon after Patrick Kelly started school at age 5, his teachers told his parents he belonged in special-education classes. His academic performance was poor, and his behaviors were disruptive: hand-flapping, rocking, hitting his head with his wrists and tapping his desk repeatedly. He often seemed as if he was not paying attention to people when they spoke to him. He would stare off into the distance, head turned to the side.
Kellys teachers assumed he had intellectual disability, known at the time as mental retardation. Then when he was around 9, a routine eye exam at school revealed that he could barely see. With glasses, he went from underperforming to outperforming his peers in every subject but English in just two years. And it turned out that he had been listening in the classroom all along. Finally, at age 13, a psychologist diagnosed him with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified, a form of autism.
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Its All About Having A Game Plan
When going to such events, we prepare in advance on how it will play out. I make a game plan, assigning the kids their parts. The teenager put in charge of our autistic toddler and the preteen in charge of our autistic 9-year-old. I had snacks in the bag for all, tablets to entertain, sensory headphones, and an adult back up. If both groups needed help at one time, Id go to one their aunt to the other. Meltdowns were avoided this time, but we stayed on the edge of meltdowns the entire event. Its like having a well maintained car running on four spare tires. It may be structurally sound, but those spare tires are going to explode at some point!
After leaving, I was absolutely exhausted and began to feel guilt. Every time a parent of an autistic child is out and about, they are put in the position to either A) Announce the diagnosis at every handshake or B) Not say anything and move on with the conversation. Now dont get wrong, by no means am I suggesting people are trying to hide their childrens disabilities. What I mean is in that initial conversation, that is the choice.
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