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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, February 6, 2017

Testing Special Needs Children

If you have a child with intellectual disabilities, it is extremely important that you have your child IQ tested before age 18.

This is not suggested for any frivolous reason. If your child has a recognized intellectual disability, he or she may be eligible for a Medicaid waiver. That would allow your special-needs child to receive community-based assistance and likely avoid institutional living. But securing that waiver is not easy because there is a long waiting list, and it could take several years to get to the top unless there is a crisis.

So why the IQ test? The child’s IQ test score is one of the factors used to determine the applicant’s waiver eligibility. And since the intellectual disability must have developed before age 18, it is important to have that documentation ready.

This Medicaid waiver differs from any Social Security issues. In that case, the IQ test must be administered before the person reaches age 22.

If your child is in a public school, you can ask the school to do an IQ evaluation either to determine eligibility for special education or to better provide appropriate services. School resources are limited, however, so the evaluation may not be very thorough or may take a while to be completed.

So if you have a child and believe there may be intellectual-disability issues, make sure that appropriate IQ testing is done. A private test could cost between $1,000 and $2,000 but it may be a worthwhile and necessary step for your child’s care.


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