Babies Can’t Wait is a program developed by the Office of Child Health to provide special assistance, guidance, and support for children born with special needs. Operating under the larger banner of Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs’ (CYSHN), Babies Can’t Wait serves all of Georgia’s 18 Health Districts and has assisted nearly 18,000 babies and their families by providing learning opportunities and other services for children who have been diagnosed with a medical condition that will result in developmental delay.
Focused on children from birth until age three, Babies Can’t Wait provides a range of services in natural environments, where they are most conducive to long-term success. Through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), Babies Can’t Wait assists families with services that may include:
- Assistive technology and devices
- Audiology and vision services
- Speech-language pathology
- Counseling and home visits
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Psychological services
- Nutritional support
- Social work services
Babies Can’t Wait may also provide transportation or assist with the costs of getting to and from appointments. In addition to transportation costs, State funds are available for families who may find it difficult to pay for services.
Babies Can’t Wait is a public/private partnership with various services provided by both the Department of Health and private organizations and individuals. Designed to help children succeed after graduation from the program, services are provided in the home or in community settings in which the child will participate as he or she grows unless early intervention cannot satisfactorily be achieved in such an environment.
Treatment decisions are based on the IFSP and tailored to meet the specific needs of children and their families.
ELIGIBILITY FOR BABIES CAN’T WAIT
Babies Can’t Wait is designed to assist children who have been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that will result in developmental delay. These may include:
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Hearing loss
- Language and speech disorders
- Fragile X syndrome
- Spinal Bifida
A complete list of conditions eligible for the program can be found on the website of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control.
CONTACTING BABIES CAN’T WAIT
There are several ways to contact Babies Can’t Wait to learn if your child is eligible for services:
- Use the Children With Special Needs Coordinator Locator to locate your local office
- Use the statewide directory by calling 800-229-2038
- Call the state Babies Can’t Wait Office directly at 888-651-8224
You can also visit the state office of Babies Can’t Wait in Atlanta:
2 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
In many cases, developmental delays are the result of genetics or other factors beyond the control of healthcare professionals. In others, they are the result of an injury sustained during labor or delivery, or of medical negligence during fetal development. If your child’s special needs were caused or exacerbated by a negligent medical professional, you may be entitled to seek compensation for lifelong costs related to the condition, including services that will be necessary after graduation from the various programs offered through CYSHN.
Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC has a long history of fighting for the rights of families facing the consequences of birth injury. Compassionate, effective, and thorough, our team of legal experts can comb through medical records to determine if negligence played a role in your child’s condition, using our findings to build a case that seeks damages specific to your family’s needs.
Call us today at 404-760-7400 to schedule a complimentary consultation where we can listen to your story and help you understand your rights. Free of both cost and obligations, this visit gives you an opportunity to understand the options that may be available to your family, enabling you to make the decision that you feel will be best for your child’s needs now and into the future.
We understand that having a special needs child can make travel difficult. If you are unable to make a visit to one of our Atlanta area offices, one of our experienced attorneys can come to you to discuss your case. Call us today to schedule your appointment and let us help you find the most effective course forward.