Support Services Blog Series Part 1 Habilitation: The Basics

First of all, what is it?

Habilitation is a 1:1 direct service with the provider and the client that utilizes a list of goals provided by the client’s planning team (client, parent, provider, DDD Support Coordinator). These goals can be directed at skills the team feels like the client needs extra assistance in, or something the client has never attempted before, but is an age-appropriate milestone. The number of authorized hours is a collaborative decision between the planning team, these hours are assessed on a weekly frequency (i.e., 12 hours/week). The number of hours can vary depending on your child’s current skillset, schedule, and number of goals. Habilitation is an assessed service authorized solely by the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Your child will need to be approved through DDD to receive Habilitation from Arbor Therapy.

What kind of goals will my child work on?

Habilitation goals are completely individualized to the client and their assessed needs. The planning team will work together and get information from the parent to see where some of the gaps are in their current life skills and create goals to fill those gaps moving forward. It is best practice (and a great start to continued success) for the provider to break down the skill into smaller steps for the client, to make the goal more attainable. The planning team will usually create goals that can be accomplished by the client within a certain period.

Example: To increase Chris’ daily living skills, he will taste one new food per week for 12 weeks at 85% completion.

The Habilitation provider will take data on this goal every time it is worked on and provide the data to the planning team to further discuss how the goal can be increased in difficulty, show completion, or continue the goal as is. Once the client has mastered that goal, a new goal is created, and those pockets of life skills are stored for their future. If the client cannot master the goal, the team will break down the goal into further steps so it can be attained, or simply start fresh with a new goal.

Will my provider be a complete stranger?

Unless you have a friend, family member, or someone you know who is over the age of 18 and looking for a job, yes, your provider will be a stranger at first! Do not worry, Arbor Therapy is committed to hiring quality providers with the appropriate training to

implement top tier Habilitation services with your child. At first, there will be a learning curve and a rapport building period where we want the provider to build trust and comfort with your child. This will include playing games, activities, eating snacks and meals, and getting to know your child to the best of their ability while slowly introducing Habilitation goals. This will all be a part of the onboarding process for Support Services, and we will work as a team to make sure personalities have been matched from provider to client and family.

How do I find out if my child can receive Habilitation services?

Your child will need to be qualified for DDD services and have a Support Coordinator to authorize the service and answer any questions you may have regarding Habilitation. At this time, DDD is the only insurance that will cover this service. We would love to see more insurance agencies offering this service and will update all Arbor clientele with any new information we receive on this in the future.

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