Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADD/ADHD, food and environmental allergies, and physical disabilities can all require specialized treatment plans within both a medical environment, as well as within the school a child attends. Coordinating and managing both of these essential aspects of a special needs child’s treatment plans can take an entire team of medical and educational professionals, which is where a qualified and experienced case management professional comes in.
Nurse Case Managers are medically-trained professionals that have completed a degree in nursing from a campus-based or online nursing school with a concentration or certificate program in case management. These nurses help parents navigate areas within social services, insurance companies, therapists, physicians and schools. Nurse Case Managers can identify and help diagnose problems, facilitate services, equipment and treatments, and help with medical referrals or therapeutic authorizations. Case Managers also help monitor the progress of a special needs child, and can offer support, education and information to the child, parents and those involved in his or her treatment.
Payscale.com reports the average salary for a RN Case Manager is around $65,000 per year, depending on location and experience. Those interested in pursuing a career as a Nurse Case Manager are encouraged to complete at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, or a Master of Science in Nursing program, pass the NCLEX-RN and earn credits in case management through a nursing school concentration or certificate program.
Children today are faced with a wide range of health and wellness concerns that can require the special care of a nurse or other medical professional, but finding out which types of services and treatments are needed can be a long and frustrating process. For those parents of special needs children, a case management professional can make a world of difference in the overall outcome of a child diagnosed with a disorder, or even for those just indicating that further testing may be needed.