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January 9, 2012

Respite Care Effective Therapy

A new report found that for every $1000 states spend on respite care; researchers discovered an 8% decrease in being hospitalized for children and young adults with autism and behavioral challenges.  These results show that having extra finances to spend on respite care could be beneficial to long-term care of these conditions.  This information is documented in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

The type and degree of therapy a child obtained didn’t increase chances of hospitalization.  These types of therapy included: speech, occupational, and behavioral.  675 children were hospitalized in a mental facility at the time of this report.

“Raising a child with ASD is fraught with challenges and can place considerable stress on families. In many cases, hospitalization may result as much from the stress the child’s behavior places on the family as from the behavior,” wrote David Mandell of the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues in the study.

Authors of the study also state that treating behavioral conditions without hospitalization are important because other research has proven children with autism are hospitalized more frequently than children with other behavioral challenges.  Presently, respite care isn’t covered under Medicaid in every state.  Report authors feel that this should be reevaluated given the outcome of the study.

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