Once parents get past all the red tape, they often find that providers are scarce. Rural states may be especially short on behavior analysts, who tend to prefer to work in large metropolitan areas that have greater educational and technological resources. If psychiatric help is necessary, it may be hard to get. There is a shortage of child psychiatrists, and insurers are of little help in finding them. When The New Haven Register called several doctors’ offices listed on Aetna’s website as “Psychiatry, child and adolescent,” they found none who actually treated pre-teen children. One doctor said of the rosters of providers issued by insurance companies, “Their lists are never correct.” More generally, psychiatrists are less likely than other physicians to accept insurance. A national survey found that barely half said they accepted private insurance and only 43 percent accepted Medicaid.
At Buffalo's WKBW-TV, Katie Morse reports on an upstate New York family:
The Cordones are sharing video of James in crisis mode because they want other families to know what they're day-to-day is like.
James goes to school at Autism Services Inc., but when his behavior got so severe, his family had to look elsewhere for help - and here's what they found.
"There is no help here. There is no help in New York State," explained Debbie.
So James, like many kids from Western New York, had to leave the state, ending up at a specialized program in Maryland. The Cordones uprooted their lives and spent eight months getting James intense treatment at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore. It's something a lot of families can't do.