For children born with disabilities, early intervention is critical to their future success in school and as an adult. In fact, state and federal law require Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services be provided to infants with disabilities up until the age of three years old.
Two-year old Haylee, a loving little girl with significant developmental delays, was making significant progress when her ECI services were suddenly stopped. Her provider ceased providing services to her and hundreds of other children in the Tyler area due to Medicaid rate cuts that severely reduced state funding to providers.
DRTx and pro bono co-counsel Baker & McKenzie LLP of Dallas filed a complaint on behalf of Haylee against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission along with a request for a due process hearing. A hearing officer determined that the state violated the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and related state law and ordered services to begin again for Haylee within seven days of the decision.
The ruling is the first of its kind and sets a precedence for future cases. “This is an important win for Haylee and hundreds of other kids across Texas who are facing or will face the same unfortunate situation,” said Nick Kennedy, attorney with Baker & McKenzie.