Question: “My child has always been a little slow, but I’m not sure if he has mental retardation. What is Mental Retardation, exactly?”
Answer: A diagnosis of mental retardation may be given if all three of the following criteria may be satisfied:
- significantly sub-average intellectual functioning (an IQ of 70 or below)
- concurrent deficits or impairments originating during developmental period before age 18 years
- determiniation of individual's adaptive behavioral level
Question: “Can a person diagnosed with autism receive services from Metrocare?”
Answer: Yes. Autism is one of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) that are included in our services. The others are:
- Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD, NOS)
- Asperger’s disorder
- Rett’s disorder
- Childhood disintegrative disorder
Question: "Can a person with any mental illness receive services from Metrocare?"
Answer: Yes, for a fee. But some public and private insurances cover only a limited range of diagnoses.
Question: "How are the services for those limited diagnoses paid?"
Answer: If the consumer is enrolled in the NorthSTAR program, psychiatric, counseling, and rehabilitation services are paid for through reimbursement from that program. If not, reimbursement can be obtained through billing Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, or private insurance.
Question: “Is there a cost for any of the services?"
Answer: There are fees associated with our services, but most are covered by various insurance options available. Others are based upon sliding scale.
Question: “What hours are you open?”
Answer: Our administrative office and most of our clinics are open Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Question: “How long does it take to access Mental Retardation Services?”
Answer: Establishment of eligibility is required before a person may receive any services. Eligibility is determined at the Eligibility Determination Unit (please see listing). Appointments are generally available within one week, if the outside information required is provided. Once eligibility is determined, it generally takes no more than a few weeks to access services.
Question: “How do I sign up/register for vocational/employment services?”
Answer: Our vocational programs are available to people who have mental retardation, or who are eligible for Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative services.
Question: “What jobs are available for people with disabilities?”
Answer: People with disabilities (like anyone else) choose jobs that will match their abilities and interests. Therefore, the employment selection is up to each individual and his/her realistic opportunities and skills.
Question: “Will I lose my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid if I go to work?”
Answer: A reduction of the SSI check may occur if hours worked are above the maximum allowed by the law. This is calculated on a case-by-case basis. For more information see www.ssa.gov.
Question: "Who is BPS and what services do they provide?"
Answer: Behavioral and Psychiatric Services (BPS) is a program of specialized support services to our consumers with dual diagnoses of both developmental disabilities and mental illness. BPS provides medication management, behavioral therapy, and counseling services.
Question: "How do I qualify for BPS Services?"
Answer: The consumer must be a resident of Dallas County and have a diagnosis of mental retardation and mental illness and/or behavior disorder that impairs daily functioning and places the individual's community placement at risk. Metrocare's mental retardation authority determines eligibility.
Question: "What is ECI?"
Answer: Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a statewide program for infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental concerns and their families. There are 64 different ECI programs in Texas available to families in every county. ECI of Metrocare Services is one of the 64 programs. ECI of Metrocare serves eligible children and families who live in the southwest quadrant of Dallas County.
Question: "What makes a child eligible for the ECI program?"
Answer: Children are eligible if they have not reached their third birthday, they reside in Texas, and they have one of the following conditions:
- Developmental delay
- A medically diagnosed condition that may result in a developmental delay.
- Atypical development: Their pattern of development is different from their peers.
Question: "If the family does not live in the southwest quadrant of Dallas County served by ECI of Metrocare, how can the family find an ECI program in their area?"
Answer: An ECI program can be found in Dallas County by calling the Dallas County ECI referral line: (972) 503-1709. This is an automated telephone system. By entering the zip code of the family in response to a prompt, the caller is connected to the appropriate ECI program.
Question: "Is there a cost for this ECI program?"
Answer: The program is funded by federal, state, and third-party resources of public and private insurance and Medicaid. There is little to no out-of-pocket cost to the family. Their private insurance, CHIP, or Medicaid will be billed.
Question: "What kind of services are available through ECI?"
Answer: Services are based upon the need of the child and the needs of the family to support their child's development. Depending on what the child needs, services could include: assistive technology, services and devices, audiology, early identification, screening and assessment, family counseling, family education, medical services (diagnostic or evaluation services used to determine eligibility), nursing services, nutrition services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, case management, social work services, special instruction, speech-language therapy, and vision services.