No one wants to have to call the Texas Medicaid offices for anything, ever. But parents of children with special needs, specifically children receiving services through any Texas Medicaid waiver programs must, from time to time, make a call to this institution.
The hold-time can be outrageous and of course, life does not stop while you wait for someone to get on the phone after your third or fourth transfer.
Should you find yourself on the line waiting to speak to someone who can help you, don’t waste your time, try these tips for passing these precious moments:
- Check your email and consider subscribing to newsletters ( or getting on mailing lists) that will keep you informed of the latest news, trends, and information for families of children with special needs. In Texas try resources from Texas Parent to Parent (including listserv topics) or nationally, Disability Scoop.
- Set up “Google” or similar alerts to have news and information about parenting a child with special needs sent to your email in-box. Sample: “services for children with special needs” Austin will send news, calendar events, and other information specific to Austin direct to your email; use settings to receive alerts daily/weekly/monthly or in digest form.
- Surf Facebook for groups formed around a specific diagnosis or cause. These can be great places to find support, community, and a chance to vent with those who understand. Examples include Rett Girl!, Down Syndrome, or Autism Awareness. Use the search function to find a group to fit your situation.
- Go to Amazon.com and purchase good reading material for information and support. Try Opening Doors, Opening Lives: Creating awareness of advocacy, inclusion, and education for our children by Jennifer Greening or Steps to Independence: Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs by Baker/Brightman.
- Set up a Twitter account and follow other parents and advocates of children with special needs. Learn about how #hashtags can help you target the information you want to see. Post your own resources, links, frustrations, and joys. Start with #disability and #special needs.
Low-tech options, assuming you have a phone you can take with you.
- If you child is incontinent, spend some time going around the house stocking pull-ups, wipes, and other toileting materials in each bathroom or changing area.
- Write a thank you note to the last person who went out of their way to help you or your child. It could be a caseworker, therapist, physician, teacher or friend. It could make their whole day. Help your child to contribute to the note in some way.
- Sort through old toys or books and toss broken or destroyed items; bag whatever you don’t want that is still in good condition and set it out for give-away.
- Pull something out of the freezer for dinner or make arrangements to order-in. Give yourself a break!
- Floss your teeth, sweep the front porch, clean the microwave, scrub the bathtub, clean out the junk drawer, or sadly, all of the above before you speak to someone.
When all else fails, play Bejeweled until someone comes on the line…or until your call gets dropped inexplicably.
For more information
Texas Parent to Parent
Description of Texas Medicaid Waiver Programs by CPAS.
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