If your child does have a developmental disability, you should connect with your local office and ask for the specific supports you need.
Once you are "in the system", they can help you with whatever services your child qualifies for.
Here's what you can do:
Call your HSD office. (Click on the box below to find your nearest office.)
Tell them about your child's disability and what kind of services you think they need. Be specific and thorough. The intake person you talk to must understand what prevents you from taking care of your child's needs without help.
Ask them aboutMedicaid Waivers and other services your child might qualify for.
These are the regional HSD offices in Louisiana. Call the one closest to you.
Note that some offices are called Districts, and some are called Authorities.
Click the link for more information. (It will open in a new tab or window.)
Or call this main office:
Phone: (225) 342-0095
Sources: LDH, OCDD
Here's what to expect when you call the HSD office:
They'll do an intake over the phone and ask you some questions about your child's needs.
Then they'll meet with you in person to do a face-to-face interview. The purpose is to find out your child's "level of need" (how much they need the support).
You should get a written report.
If your child qualifies, you'll get a statement of approval. Now you're in the Developmental Disabilities system!
They should tell you what services your child qualifies for, but you might have to ask and be persistent. Ask for services by name.
Click on the button below to see how to qualify:
OCDD Services are for children and adults with Developmental Disabilities.
Developmental "Delay" vs. "Disability?"
When a child is under about 7, they call it a a developmental delay. This is because many children catch up to their peers after getting some therapy or educational support.
After that, it's called a disability because it is likely to last throughout their life.
EarlySteps is for children under 3 who have a developmental delay, or a condition that is likely to result in a developmental delay.
Otherwise, a person should qualify for OCDD services if they:
Have had the disability before they turned 22
Will likely have this disability for life
Have trouble taking care of themselves, talking with others.learning, moving around on their own, etc.
Need more care and support because of their disability
Speak up if you don't get what you need! You know your child best, and you have a right to push for the services that supports their goals.
Sources: LDH, OCDD, OAAS