Robbie Foundation is filling the Gap!
It’s the seventh highest in the country – and the highest rate of any state in the Northeast. That is where Maine is ranked when it comes to the disability rate among people five and older. The data becomes even more alarming when it comes to just children. According to a U.S. Census report, a little more than ten percent of Maine children have been diagnosed with a disability and/or a chronic health condition. Per capita, that ranks Maine with the highest prevalence rate in the entire U.S. The report says from 1992 to 2005 the number of children diagnosed with Autism increased by a little more than three-thousand percent. It also means the number of children and young people with developmental and medical disabilities are falling through the cracks when it comes to getting the treatment and equipment they desperately need.
There are long waiting lists for comprehensive developmental services as state budget shortfalls threaten the services that still remain. Studies have found nationally a little more than 33 percent of families with children with disabilities are poor. In Maine, lowincome families with children with disabilities face other unique hardships. A limited number of health care providers for special needs children, particularly in rural areas. It is not uncommon for families in northern Aroostook County to drive to Bangor or Portland to see specialists and other providers, usually at their own expense. Because private insurance does not cover a number of services, treatment or pay for adaptive equipment, families are forced to pay out of pocket. Many have to rely on MaineCare which also has long waiting lists and limited coverage.
The Robbie Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children with all developmental disabilities by providing funding for families to purchase a variety of adaptive equipment, therapy treatment or any necessary item not covered by insurance.
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