children with disabilities

How to Get Medical and Education Services When You Don’t Speak English

The California Health Report spoke with disability rights experts and parent advocates about what families who speak a language other than English need to know about their rights when accessing health care and special education services, and tips on how to advocate for themselves.

Almost half of California residents speak a language other than English at home, most often Spanish.

Analysis: My Son’s Journey With Food, and How I Learned to Love Meal Supplements

For me, the most important thing about the holidays is food. I love cooking almost as much as I love eating.

But that perception was challenged when my son, James, was born with medically intensive disabilities. I wanted my son to have a positive relationship with food, even though he is fed through a tube. To do that, I had to tackle my own emotional baggage about what it means to feed my family.

How Families of Children With Disabilities Can Find Support

Caring for children with special needs is demanding work. Without adequate support or rest, parents can end up feeling depleted and alone.

The solution, according to experts and parents who have faced these challenges, is to reach out for help, connect with other families of children with disabilities, and prioritize self-care.

For Medically Fragile Kids, Access to Palliative Care Depends on Family Resources

For children with complex medical needs, palliative care can offer physical relief and also support to families.

However, systemic failures such as a shortage of places that offer palliative care services for children, and also a shortage of physicians who do this work, lead to long wait times and administrative hurdles. The issues with the system, according to experts, can be fixed.

How to Keep Your Family’s Medi-Cal Benefits

During the pandemic, California and other states didn’t require people to renew their membership Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California.

That changed on April 1, when California began sending out renewal packets once again. Renewals will be sent out in batches, based on the month in which beneficiaries originally applied for Medi-Cal.

Analysis: Day Cares for Medically Fragile Children Are Closing. Here’s How to Save Them

Children who need medically intensive care cannot attend traditional day care programs. California has an option for these kids, called Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care facilities.

But the amount the government pays these facilities to care for children has not kept pace with inflation and rising staffing costs. Because of the stagnant rates, California’s pediatric care facilities are in danger of closing.

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