Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child old enough for treatment?

Yes.  If they need and qualify for services, and are between the age of 0-21, then they can receive treatment from our Agency.  In some cases, if they are over 21 and are enrolled in the STAR+ program we can treat them.  Call and speak to our referral coordinator if you have questions.

Where does my child receive services?

Treatment is provided in the child’s home, babysitter’s home, daycare (upon approval), and/or some Charter schools or local Pre-K settings.  

Who pays for my child’s services?

Medicaid, CHIP, some commercial insurance plans, or you can pay privately/out of pocket.

How do I get started?

Call us at (210) 344-5437 to make a referral.

We will verify Medicaid/Ins eligibility.

We will request orders from your child’s doctor to perform an evaluation(s).

We will schedule an appointment with you to complete the evaluation(s).

If your child qualifies for services, PDN will begin immediately and therapy will begin once the doctor and insurance approve treatment, usually within 1-2 weeks after the evaluation.

What is involved in a therapy evaluation?

An evaluation of your child's language, fine motor skills, and/or gross motor skills will be completed by a Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational, or Physical Therapist. The evaluation determines how your child compares to other children of his/her age group. The therapist will also ask for your input on your child's skills. Goals will be set for your child based on his/her individual needs. As your child makes progress, new goals will be established until your child has reached the benchmark of development for other children who are the same age.

How long will my child receive therapy?

Initial requests for insurance authorization are for six months of certification, although sometimes insurance will shorten the length based on diagnosis or need.  In most cases, every 3-6 months thereafter a re-evaluation will be completed. As long as your child is making progress and the child’s doctor and Medicaid/Insurance approves the care, therapy will continue until all goals are met.  Therapy sessions range from 30-53 minutes 1 to 3 times per week.

What happens during a therapy session?

Language activities involve the therapist playing and talking to your child. They may use pictures, books, objects or familiar events to stimulate language development and use repetition exercises to build skills. Articulation, or sound production exercises involve having the therapist model correct sounds, such as the “f” sound. Articulation therapy involves physically showing a child how to make certain sounds.

Occupational Therapists use writing and other tools and activities that allow your child to use their hands to develop fine motor skills. They also use physical activities to teach children how to attend to tasks and participate well in groups.

Physical Therapists work on increasing balance, coordination, strength and endurance skills to improve quality of life.

Does the company guarantee coverage of all my approved nursing hours?

Ability HomeCare will take all necessary steps to ensure that we have trained back-up nurses who can care for your child in the event your regular nurse is unavailable. However, the agency cannot guarantee 100% coverage of all hours due to nurse illnesses, family emergencies, etc. Our Director and/or Supervising Nurses will assist you and your family to ensure an alternate family member is trained and safe to care for your child in the event that your nurse calls in and you are unavailable. In fact, it is a requirement of home health services.

How are the nursing shifts/hours scheduled?

Once your child’s insurance issues authorization for PDN, we will work with you to develop a schedule that meets your family’s needs and wants. You will have an assigned scheduler and be informed of who will  coordinate the schedule and communicate changes, status of unstaffed shifts, and any updates.

Who do I call after business hours if I have a nursing-related problem or question?

Ability HomeCare has a nurse and/or scheduler on call at all times for these instances.  However, in the event of a medical or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 first.

Do nurses accompany my child to events/appointments outside of the home?

Nurses can and do attend activities such as doctor’s appointments, family outings, etc. during their scheduled shifts. However, they are never allowed to drive the patient or you in their own vehicles.  Additionally, activities should be confined to their scheduled shift to ensure that we provide the accurate number of hours of nursing services ordered and authorized.

Where do I fax or have my doctor fax a referral?

Please fax all therapy referrals to: 210-344-5535

Please fax all nursing referrals to: 210-568-2622

Developmental Milestones

1 - 2 YearsIdentifies familiary objects from a group of objects
Identifies pictures of familiar objects
Identifies Body Parts
Imitates words
Uses 5-10 words
Puts 2 words together
Says hi, bye, please
Imitates scribble
Turns pages, 2-3 at a time in a book
Puts pegs in pegboard
Tower of 2-6 cubes
Snips with scissors
Removes socks and pull of shoes
Uses spoon and cup well
2 - 3 YearsUnderstands prepositions (in, out, on)
Identifies actions in pictures
Understands pronouns (my, your)
Understands big/little
Follows simple commands
Uses words to request objects, to indicate he wants more of something
Combines 3-4 words in speech
Produces the following sounds: /m/, /p/, /b/, /w/, /t/, /h/
Assemble 4-5 piece puzzles
Watches moving objects
Puts on simple garments, shoes, socks, shorts
Pulls down pants without assistance
Increased attention span
Avoids some dangers like: a hot stove
Walks up steps alternating feet
Plays ring-around-the -rosy
3 - 4 YearsUnderstands pronouns (he, she, his, her)
Identifies colors (red, green, blue, yellow, orange, purple)
Answers simple "wh" questions (who, what, where, why)
Puts 4-5 words together
Tells how objects are used
Uses simple opposites (big/little, hot/cold)
Speaks easily without repeating syllables or words
Produces the following sounds: /d/, /k/, /g/, /s/
Turns doorknob, forearm rotation
Builds tower of 9-10 blocks or more
Dresses and undresses with supervision
Turns water faucet on and off
Can feed with little or no spilling
Attends to task without supervision for 5 minutes
Sits quietly for one minute when listening to stories, music
Takes turns in game activity
4 - 5 YearsIdentifies shapes (circle, star, triangle, square)
Understands and uses concepts (tall, long, short)
Understands spatial concepts (in front of, in back of, under)
Names objects when the object is described
Repeats sentences
Produces the following sounds: /sh/, /ch/, /z/, /v/, /l/
Cuts across paper following straight and curved lines
Follows directions provided by authority figure
Matches shapes of same color and size
Compares different textures, soft, smooth, rough
Knows front and back of clothing
Opens container and removes foods
Source: www.asha.orgSource: