Tertiary prevention includes strategies to stop or slow the progression of a disability. Services and supports that improve outcomes and prevent negative consequences for children include:
- Therapy services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, or music therapy
- Assistive technology such as wheelchairs, screen readers, communication devices, special computer programs or phone apps
- Medical care
- Social supports
When supporting a child with IDD, you can get help from many organizations and state programs. Navigate Life Texas is a great place to learn more about everything from diagnosis to transitioning to adulthood. In addition to lots of information and videos, Navigate Life Texas also has a database to help you find organizations that help parents find the resources and services needed to support children with IDD, such as Texas Parent to Parent or The Arc of Texas.
HHS Services and Resources
Below is a list of several resources available at HHS that can help support children with IDD:
- Early Childhood Intervention is a statewide program in Texas for families with children birth to 36 months with developmental delays, disabilities or certain medical conditions that affect development.
- The Children’s Autism Program provides treatment services to children ages 3-15 with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. It uses applied behavior analysis to evaluate and teach socially relevant behavior and new skills, while increasing desirable behaviors through positive reinforcement. To apply for the program, contact your local Autism Program provider.
- YourTexasBenefits.com helps you apply for Medicaid and get care for children with disabilities, including basic medical services, long-term services and supports, service coordination, service planning and transition planning. Read more about insurance and financial help for children with disabilities at Navigate Life Texas.
- Children with Special Health Care Needs Services Program helps children with their medical care, mental health care, special therapies and much more. Call 800-252-8023 to learn more.
- Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development Program works with families of children who are blind or visually impaired to create an individualized service plan. To apply for services, call the HHS Office of the Ombudsman at 877-787-8999, option 3.
- TexasHealthSteps.com provides free continuing education credits to physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dentists and others.
There are many other programs that might help you or your child so if you do not find what you are looking for, we encourage you to call 2-1-1 or visit their website.
Mental Health Challenges
At one time, it was thought that a person with an intellectual or developmental disability could not have a mental health condition. Today we know someone with IDD can be dually diagnosed with mental health conditions also. Although research and services have started to focus on the dually diagnosed population, there is still a lack of awareness and a lack of education on the subject.
ODPC is looking into ways to address the gaps in services and will host periodic meetings on dual diagnosis in Austin. If you can’t make the meeting in person, there will be a conference call line available to listen to the meetings. You’ll have a chance to provide input and learn more about what ODPC and other HHS programs are working on in regards to dual diagnosis.
Email us at email@example.com to join our distribution list for future dual diagnosis meetings.
- MentalHealthTx.org and 2-1-1 Texas can help you find local mental health services.
- Your local mental health authority can connect you with mental health services. Find your LMHA here or by using the database search.
- Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with IDD is a free training course for people who support someone with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs.
- The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma is a training that gives providers an overview on working with children and families living with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma.
- National Association for the Dually Diagnosed has information and offers continuing education opportunities regarding dual diagnosis.
- Navigate Life Texas has information on what dual diagnosis is and where to find services for children with IDD.