special needs

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.

California Finally Pays for Summer Programs for Children with Disabilities, But Access Hurdles Remain  

The state cut funding for social and recreational services for children with disabilities 13 years ago, which meant regional centers could no longer pay for summer camps, swimming lessons and other recreational programs for children with disabilities.

Now the centers have to figure out how to reinstate them, which has led to glitches for families trying to access these services.

Analysis: The Formula Shortage Is Also A Disability Rights Issue

The baby formula shortage wreaking havoc across the United States is terrifying for any parent who relies on infant formula to feed their child. It’s especially calamitous for babies and children with special health care needs who rely on special prescription formulas that have also been impacted by the supply shortage.

The shortage highlights an ongoing, systemic failure to ensure vulnerable children have secure access to medically necessary, life supporting products and equipment.

A young boy wearing a backpack, face mask, hoodie jacket, and rain boots, standing outdoors while its raining.

It May Be the Most Important Test of a Child’s Life. Most Aren’t Getting It

Tens of thousands of California children with developmental delays aren’t diagnosed until they hit the school system. For children whose delays are detected late, the ramifications can be lifelong. That’s because interventions such as behavioral, physical and speech therapy are often most effective when started during the toddler years.

Billions of connections are made in a young child’s brain. Research shows between 85 and 90 percent of brain development occurs before a child turns 3.

For Medically Fragile Children, Pandemic-Induced Supply Shortages Continue

Suppliers and parents began reporting shortages — most notably of ventilator circuits — early in the pandemic. Now, they say the problem is ongoing and kids are paying the price.

Based on national estimates, it’s likely that California is home to about 35,000 children with medical complexities, although no one tracks state-specific data. These are children with chronic conditions that require significant medical attention and specialized equipment, such as ventilators.

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