A local waiting list

A local waiting list

A friend took her one year-old daughter to the pediatrician yesterday. Baby is developing a little slower than normal and the pediatrician suggested having her evaluated for language development at Children’s Hospital in Boston. The mom told me she took the first available appointment –in mid-February, almost seven months away! Keep in mind this is an upper middle class family with private health insurance.

Maybe they should go to the UK or Canada to speed things up?

July 27, 2006

6 thoughts on “A local waiting list”

  1. Wow – you catch things early. I’d be amazed if there were a faster language development referral in the UK – although there might be some speedy hearing checks etc.

    But seriously – a referral for language development at 1? Was everything else OK? I understand that parents are anxious not to have a long-term problem bed it but 1 seems over-young while a 7 month waiting list seems too long. I hope that by then, everything seems to be on-track and they can cancel it.

    Regards – Shinga

  2. Try etting an appointment with a pediatric gastrointrologist. Same waiting list. Or for nutrition counseling. Nutrition! In March, their next appt was October.

    I have A-1, top of the line insurance.

    I often thought the same exact thing – what’s all this about waiting times in other countries. We wait here too.

  3. IMO, a 12 month old being seen by a SLP is probably not appropriate, unless there are other serious factors involved.

    Number two, why aren’t the parents taking advantage of the state’s early intervention program if they are concerned? It’s free and will provide the same information as the insurance eval.

    Number three, the delay to be seen by a SLP may be due to the fact that there’s a shortage of SLPS. It’s true in my state.

    Number four, the delay could obviously be caused by the amount of 12 month olds being referred for speech evals.

    That said I’m the mother of a daughter who is “moderately delayed” in expressive language. When she started speech 3 months ago, she wasn’t combining words; there are articulation issues as well. Three months into therapy she’s combining words, but her articulation is still a big problem. For the past 3 months she’s been receiving speech via the early intervention program. Saturday we received a letter, saying that she didn’t qualify anymore from someone who has never met my daughter. I’m mad. If she weren’t starting our school district’s preschool program September 5th, where she’ll be getting speech 4 times a week, I’d be much angrier. I’ve had other experiences with the early intervention program that has left a sour taste in my mouth, that I don’t blame parents for not starting there.

  4. I agree that 12 months for a speech eval might be a little young but that didn’t stop me from contacting Early Intervention at 18 months of age for one of my twins. His delays were obvious in comparison to his twin. Of course I had the ‘benefit’ of knowing about EI because of my older son’s disabilities. The twin has been under EI for almost 9 months and the progress has been amazing…much more than if we tried to work it out alone. EI has helped us tremendously and I highly recommend the program.

    P.S. Although Boston Children’s is great (we drive 3 hours there for my older son), start lower on the ‘totem-pole’ for answers.

  5. My son recently was evaluated for speech delay at 18 months in Wisconsin, and the initial evaluation had to be scheduled for 1 month later. He doesn’t seem to have a delay.

    If he had been significantly delayed, we were looking at 4-6 month wait for services to be delivered by the state and county. Our HMO doesn’t cover this, and our social worker suggested that to go to a private speech therapist would have been on the order of$10-20 k per year.

    We probably would have tried to find a way to do that if we had to, but what about people sinking in debt, or making minimum wage? They qualify for the state and county program, but how long will they have to wait to get services?

  6. The family is having an early intervention appointment arranged through their town. There was only a 1 month wait for that. A friend of theirs (whose child is autistic) suggested making the speech eval appointment now because the early intervention people were likely to recommend it. Making the appointment now would reduce the wait later.

    It’s certainly true that the existence of a waiting list can itself make the waiting list worse as people decide to get in line just in case. Experience with open access scheduling in doctors’ offices (not speech evals specifically) indicate that people with longstanding appointments are more likely to miss their appointment than those who have made their appointments the same day.

    I’m curious about how the system is gamed –I’m sure some people find a way to jump the line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *