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Infant with Special Needs

  • 1.  Infant with Special Needs

    Posted 22 days ago
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a current family that has their 3 year old enrolled at our Christian private preschool and they've recently had a baby. The baby has special needs such as a feeding tube (G-tube), cleft pallet and lip, as well as diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation syndrome. She also requires a suction machine for when she spits up. The baby is 5 months old and the parents need care. At this point I am considering the possibility and we are going to move forward on trial basis (as per our agreement). The family is very thankful for us just considering the possibility.

    Up to this point, we have had a G-tube feeding training by a Registered Pediatric Nurse, mom has also brought the baby and provided us with a hands-on training, and we've set up the nursery with special equipment for accommodations. In preparing, I've checked with our insurance company to make sure we are covered in case something was to go wrong. We're good on that end. I called licensing (Texas) to ask about special exceptions and waivers, and I was advised to write a policy specifically for this baby aside from our student handbook. I've received conflicting opinions in  regards to her advise - Yes, this is something we need to have our attorney write up, and NO this is going against ADA laws. Please help!

    Anyone have had any experience with this topic?

    Thank you!

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    Lorena Counterman
    Director
    Friendswood Christian School
    Friendswood TX
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  • 2.  RE: Infant with Special Needs

    Posted 22 days ago
    Hi Laurana,

    We too have taken care of special needs children in the past (ie: preemies, down syndrome, autism, etc.).  Each situation was highly individualized in terms of their plan of care.  It is best to identify what you will and will not be able to provide for the child based on the skill level of your staff and the design of your center.  Both the parents and the center need to agree to a written plan of care and also what type of situations might trigger the need for the child to be un-enrolled from the program due to needing a higher level of care.

    Before we started taking special needs children, we partnered with our local ECI program and made their involvement a mandatory part of the overall program that we set up for each child.  It also provided the families with additional resources as the child's needs changed over those first 3 years.

    Thank you for being willing to take on this challenge.  It can be both rewarding and frustrating but you and your staff will learn so much as you move through the process.

    Best wishes.

    Tim Kamimnski

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 3.  RE: Infant with Special Needs

    Posted 22 days ago
    Tim, thank you so very much for your reply. I like the way you put it, "plan of care" so that it's not a policy for the specific child. Do you know if children with special needs automatically become part of ECI or is it a parent's decision to enroll? I was also told that ECI will pay up to 90% for a caregiver assigned specifically to a child who needs the extra care. We aren't currently an ECI provider so I don't know if they will even work with us.

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    Lorena Counterman
    Director
    Friendswood Christian School
    Friendswood TX
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  • 4.  RE: Infant with Special Needs

    Posted 22 days ago
    As a center, you can contact ECI and let them know that you have a referral for them.  We get permission from the parent for us to give ECI their phone number and then ECI contacts the parents directly to set up the initial assessments.  Based on their assessments they determine what services the child will need and what services they will provide.

    There is no formal agreement between ECI and the childcare center/provider.  However if the therapist will be coming to the center to provide the therapies (which is preferable), then we ask that they provide us with the background check for ECI's therapist and we set up a sign in and out sheet to have a record of the therapist visits.  We also have the parents sign a release saying that ECI can share the therapist notes and evaluations with us and we keep copies of those reports on the child's file.

    Below is the information for the ECI location at TEXANA in Rosenberg, TX.  You can contact them to find out how to connect with ECI in the Friendswood area or you can use the website link to do a broader search.

    To contact ECI – Project GROW,
    Call 281-238-1800 or toll free at 1-866-424-9466

    To make a referral to other ECI Programs:

    ECI Website:

    https://hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/early-childhood-intervention-services

    HSSC Inquiry Line 1-800-628-5115



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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------