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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I apply for the Indiana Medicaid waiver?
    Applying for the Indiana Medicaid waiver can be done by one of the following options: Complete an online application. Print, complete, and mail a paper application to your local BDDS office. For more thorough information regarding the application process, please check out our Waiver Process page, or this document and search for "Application and Start of Waiver Services" in the table of contents.
  • Am I eligible to receive Medicaid waiver funding?
    To be eligible for DDRS Medicaid waiver funding (which is the division of Medicaid that offers recreational therapy and behavior management services), individuals must: Be diagnosed with an intellectual disability prior to the age of 22. Reside in or be transitioning into an HCBS-compliant setting (non-institutionalized). Have income no greater than 300% of the maximum Supplemental Security Income amount (parental income for children under 18 years of age is disregarded). Meet the Level of Care (LOC) requirements (explained below). Level of Care (LOC) is the minimum need an individual must have to be considered eligible for waiver services. This is evaluated when you initially apply and annually after approval. For the purposes of LOC, an individual must have a disability that: Results in impairment of functioning similar to that of a person who has an intellectual disability, including autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or a similar condition (other than mental illness). Originates before the person is 22 years of age. Has continued or is expected to continue indefinitely. Substantially limits the person's ability to engage independently in at least three of six life areas: Self-care Receptive/expressive language Learning Mobility Self-direction Capacity for independent living Requires access to 24-hour assistance, as needed. Source: Indiana Medicaid
  • There are too many acronyms to understand, help!
    The waiver is full of acronyms and the vocabulary can be difficult to understand. Below are some of the most common acronyms used amongst Indiana Medicaid waiver providers. If you ever need further clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us! (Scroll left to right if viewing on a mobile device)
  • What is the Indiana Medicaid waiver?
    The Indiana Medicaid waiver allows individuals with disabilities of all ages who choose to live in their own home as opposed to an institution (i.e. nursing facility, group home, etc.) to receive Medicaid-funded services that they otherwise would've received at an institution. These Medicaid-funded services take place both in the individuals home and out in the community, with the intent to assist them in being as independent as possible and live in the least restrictive environment, while maintaining safety and comfort in their own home. Essentially, the waiver program through Indiana Medicaid "waives" the institution option in order for Medicaid to fully fund home and community-based services, such as recreational therapy and behavior management, while the individual continues to live at home. While Indiana Medicaid has many waivers that provide services to many people, recreational therapy and behavior management services can be found on the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver and the Family Supports Waiver, which is under the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services.
  • What is the length of treatment?
    The length of treatment will not have an end date if you do not want one. The state of Indiana recognizes that recreational therapy and behavior management are lifelong services, as goals and needs change over time. This is one of our favorite aspects of the waiver, because it not only assists in the building of a longterm therapeutic rapport, but also gives the individual an opportunity to reach multiple milestones of life with the same service provider. It is not at all uncommon for an individual to work with their service provider for multiple years. For reference, one of our recreational therapists, who is also an owner of New Leaf, has been working with a client of hers since 2008!
  • What about transportation?
    Your service provider is responsible for transporting individuals to and from their home at no cost, unless transportation with staff and/or family members has been discussed and organized by the service provider. To assure that individuals are safe in the cars of our service providers, New Leaf requires the submission of routine state and county background checks, maintenance status' on vehicles, and copies of current car registration and insurance. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns regarding transportation.
  • Where are you located?
    Our headquarters is in Fort Wayne and we have a secondary office in Hobart, but we have service providers all around the state of Indiana. Please click here to see what areas we serve and if you would like to know if there are any service providers in your area, feel free to contact us!
  • Where do sessions take place?
    At New Leaf, we are a community and home-based service, so sessions are held either out in the community or in one's home. Typically at the beginning of services, sessions tend to begin inside the home of the individual for the first few weeks, that way the setting is neutral and comfortable. Once a therapeutic rapport is built and the individual becomes more comfortable with their service provider, community activities begin! We will tailor the experience based on the interests, needs, and abilities of the individual.
  • How long and how frequently do sessions occur?
    For Medicaid waiver individuals, the length and frequency of sessions all depends on the budget that the state of Indiana assigns to the individual and how much of that budget they are willing to allocate to recreational therapy and/or behavior management. For example, individuals with a smaller budget may see their service provider for 2 hours once a week, while others with a bigger budget may see their service provider for 2 hours 3 times a week. For self pay individuals, the length and frequency of sessions will be determined based on your personal budget.
  • How do I apply for New Leaf services?
    Please fill out this form to be added to our list to contact when a service provider becomes available in your area! In the mean time, please visit these resources below to learn more about the Indiana Medicaid waiver and to see if you may be eligible to receive funding if you don't already. Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services Family Supports Waiver Community Habilitation and Integration Waiver Indiana Medicaid Waiver Process
  • How are these services paid for?
    Both recreational therapy and behavior management with New Leaf is fully paid for by Indiana Medicaid funding from the Family Supports Waiver (FSW) and the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver (CIH). For those who do not receive waiver funding, we also have a private pay option. Please click here to review our payment options and to apply for services.
  • Are sessions one-on-one or with a group?
    Both! At New Leaf, sessions are mostly one-one-one, meaning just the individual and their service provider, and group settings occur as often as needed/wanted. This all depends on the interests, needs, and goals of each individual.
  • What is recreational therapy?
    "Recreational therapy provides treatment services and recreation activities to individuals using a variety of techniques including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings. Recreational therapists treat and help maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients by seeking to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively." (source: NCTRC) In other terms, recreational therapy is the use of fun activities and interventions to assist others in improving various life skills, which ultimately builds independence, improves health, and increases quality of life. In a nutshell, we hide the work in the play!
  • What qualifications do recreational therapists have?
    Recreational therapists are required to hold a minimum of a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation and successfully pass the certification exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), which is the highest level of credentialing available in the state of Indiana.
  • What activities are involved and how can they be therapeutic?
    Some home-based activities include but are not limited to: obstacle courses, board and card games, color recognition games, walks around the neighborhood, video games, movies, cooking skills, and more! Some community activities include but are not limited to: park visits, mall shopping, amusement parks, library visits, Skyzone, putt putt, professional sporting events, movies, weight lifting/working out, aquatics, engaging in various sports, and more. An example of how an activity can be therapeutic; An individual who wants to build muscle strength in their hands and fingers in order to complete daily tasks with ease will have a fine motor skills goal. One way to work towards this goal is by playing Uno, which is a great way to exercise hand and finger muscles since it involves handling cards. Uno, along with other fine motor activities, will over time build fine motor strength! Uno has many other therapeutic benefits which includes but is not limited to color/number recognition, matching, cognition/strategic thinking, social skills, positive sportsmanship, direction following, communication, and more!
  • What qualifications do behavior consultants have?
    Behavior consultants at New Leaf are required to have a Masters degree or higher in one of the following: Clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or another applied health service area of psychology. Special education Social work Counseling (must be a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker, or a licensed mental health counselor).
  • What is behavior management?
    "Behavior management includes training, supervision, or assistance in appropriate expression of emotions and desires, compliance, assertiveness, acquisition of socially appropriate behaviors, and the reduction of inappropriate behaviors." (source: IN Home and Community-Based Services) In other words, behavior management provides hands-on training for individuals in order to replace challenging and/or unhealthy behaviors with more positive and healthy behaviors. This ultimately teaches individuals how to cope and communicate and provides a better quality of life.
  • What is a behavior support plan?
    A behavior support plan, or BSP, outlines what unhealthy behavior(s) an individual would like to improve and strategies to be implemented by all team and family members in order to teach positive skills designed to replace the unhealthy behavior(s). Each BSP is created once the behavior consultant understands the function and underlying need of each behavior while working with an individual. They then create a strategy that's thoroughly outlined in the BSP that explains the behaviors wanting to be improved, how to prevent these behaviors from occurring, how to teach new skills so the individual can learn healthy behaviors, and how a team/family member should respond if a behavior occurs and how to redirect it. From there, the BSP will then be implemented during sessions with the behavior consultant and all other services providers on the individual's team. The behavior consultant will continue to work with the individual during scheduled weekly sessions to further enhance therapeutic rapport, evaluate behaviors, assist with learning replacement behaviors, and helping with behavior adjustments.
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