September 11, 2018
Family to Family Network
Moving to a new state can be stressful when you have young children. Add in disability and the move becomes even harder. You need to learn about all new doctors and support systems.
My child had just been diagnosed. I only had one year of special education pre-school under my belt. My son was thriving in his full day program. I had lots of family support close by. But my husband’s job was sending us 1,950 miles away to West Texas.
While the special education law is the same, the supports and services offered often depend on funding from property taxes. We moved from a state where property values were high. Services were abundant. I was naïve to think that services would be exactly the same in Texas. Yet, I blindly packed up and moved to a warmer climate. Probably because I had spent the month of January shoveling snow every other day!
Here are some tips I wish I had known. I hope they will make your move a little easier.
- Connect with local support groups. Other parents are often your best source for information! Use the Navigate Life Texas search tool to find local support groups that may be able to refer you to doctors, schools, therapists, etc.
- For those moving to the Houston area, check out Family to Family Network’s website for a listing of Houston Organizations, including support groups. Join their E-Digest, a monthly email of events and activities in the Houston area.
- Finding new doctors and therapists can be scary. You can use an app called Carestarter to find resources. Create a profile for your child. Then search for resources based on age, diagnosis, zip code, and insurance.
- Does your child have a Waiver Program in your state? These services do not transfer to Texas. In Texas, there is a waiting list for long-term support services. To learn more about disability services in Texas, see Texas Health & Human Services.
- If your child qualifies for Medicaid, you may be able to obtain Community First Choice Services after you arrive. You will need to apply through your local authority.
- Is your child over the age of 18? Guardianships are set up in the state where your child lives. When you move, you may need to transfer the guardianship to Texas. Check with an attorney to find out what you need to do. Texas has supported decision making which may be an alternative to guardianship.
- If your child receives special education or related services in school, be sure to check out Texas Project FIRST. Also, watch for Moving to Texas - Part 2 next month for more about special education in Texas.
By exploring what Texas has to offer, your fears may be eased. When you are less stressed, your children will feel more comfortable moving. Welcome to Texas!
Start here to learn about Texas benefits and options for children with disabilities.