I'm wondering if the Affordable Care Act will make things worse. My son has seen a developmental specialist and a developmental psychologist for the autism diagnosis, both are specialties that seem to be on par with mental health specialists. The initial evaluation by each was between 30 and 60 minutes and every appointment after that only 10 minutes. To get an appointment for each, we were on a waiting list of 4 to 6 months. Now that Michigan has adopted the autism coverage for private insurances, the amount of time to get back into the specialists has shot back up to 6 months to a year, depending on if I want to see the actual doctor or a nurse practitioner. Don't get me wrong...it's great that there's coverage for more children diagnosed with autism, but there's a huge shortage of professionals. I can see that being a problem with Obamacare.
I know Will mentioned the ISD and I am a huge fan of the ISD. I honestly think the ISD has done more to help my son than any of the specialists have. The specialists have just made the "official" diagnosis, but the ISD has provided fantastic resources and educational support. I know that the ISD can receive Medicaid resources if the parent of a child signs off and the child's case is drawn from a lottery style system. I think it would be great if the ISD could receive more funds from insurance companies for some of these services, whether it be the resources from the ISD (the psychologists, therapists, etc) or a joint effort between the ISD and mental health. Maybe that would help kids whose parents either won't seek help, feel like they don't have the resources to seek help, or parents who do seek help and are satisfied with simply medicating their children. I have nothing against medication, but I think that sometimes parents see that as an end-game solution as long as it solves the behavioral issues.