Making the Case for 24‑Hour Supervision

If you’re signing up for IHSS you should consider making the case that your autistic child needs 24‑hour supervision, because, most likely, he truly does. Regardless of any other findings, if your kid is granted this, you’ll automatically receive the maximum allowable hours, and rightly so. That’s how it is in California, and it may be the same in other states.

Our son has 24-hour supervision through IHSS. And, trust me, he requires it. This kid is much more of a handful than a typical kid his age.

Why does our son, a youth with autism, need 24‑hour supervision? If you have a child with ASD your kid may also need care around the clock for these same reasons.

  • First, Braden’s decision making skills are not good. He could endanger himself easily by making the wrong decision.
  • Second, he loves fans of any size even if he can only hear them. He would be attracted to the laptop being used by some stranger in the park. And he could be easily coaxed into following that stranger into his vehicle just because he has a ‘fan’ in his laptop.
  • Braden’s lack of good balance and his low muscle tone compared to typical children put him further at risk to stumbling and hurting himself.
  • He also isn’t a good gauge of pressure. The other night, while playing with his dog, he hurt her. A dog’s natural reaction is to yelp and possibly bite. If it was someone else’s dog, Braden would’ve been bitten. He didn’t know any better!
  • Many times Braden is not focused on the task at hand, even if that task is as simple as walking from the car, through a parking lot, into a store. He is SO easily distracted.

One of the top reasons to have 24-hour supervision does not apply to Braden. But, if it applies to your child, you have a good case! That reason is if your child is a flight risk. Some kids with autism are runners. They don’t look back, they just flee. That can be extremely dangerous! I know some parents who have installed loud alarms on every door in the house that leads to the outside. It’s that serious.

So, when you apply for IHSS, make sure the worker who interviews you gets a good understanding of why your child needs 24-hour supervision.

On a side note, I’m hearing many parents of 2 to 4 year olds say that IHSS is telling them their child is too young. IHSS tells ‘em to reapply when their child turns 5. Don’t buy it! The law does not specify a minimum age that I’m aware of. If IHSS tells you your child is too young to get it, ask them to put that in writing and also show you where, in the law, a minimum age is specified. Ask nicely though!