All These Appointments! All This Paperwork! How to Stay Organized

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All these appointments!

All these people!

All this paperwork!

The world of Autism Spectrum Disorder is a whirlwind of new information, becoming involved with agencies and people that you never expected to need to know. So…….

How does one possibly keep track of it all, not lose paperwork, and stay organized?

This is quite the project, and, if you come up with a system, it is possible to stay “on top” of most of it. Though it takes work to stay organized, you will be much better off in the long run!

When coming up with your system, consider whether you are “high tech” or “low tech.” Think about what type of program is going to work best for you. Computer, or pen and paper based? Then:

  • Get a calendar.

Choose one that will not get placed under a pile of recycled papers and accidentally get tossed! Maybe one to attach to the refrigerator? A large one to tack on the wall? Or small one to carry in your bag? Or maybe Gmail or Google calendar on your phone and computer? Don’t forget to write in the appointment – who, where, and why!

  • Organize the Paperwork!

It’s important to keep the documents where you will find them. There are options. Maybe you’d like to keep your documents in an expansion file, a large binder, or perhaps a file cabinet? Or just maybe you will want to scan everything into your computer. The benefit of a computer is that you will have any and all documentation you will need. The bad news is that you will either have to take your computer with you to any and all appointments, or try to anticipate what you will need and print and bring that documentation with you.

For those who choose the paper system, it’s fine to simply place the newest document in the front of the pile. But for those of you who want to take the step to “extreme” organizer, here’s a possible plan for you:

Medical:
1.    General Pediatrician
2.    Developmental Pediatrician
3.    Specialty care (Neurology, GI, Allergy, etc.)

Education:
1.    Evaluations
2.    IFSP/IEPs
3.    Educator/therapists notes
4.    Permissions and Procedural Safeguards

Behavior Health:
1.    Evaluation and recommendations
2.    Plan
3.    Progress notes

Government forms (since benefits need to be renewed periodically, having documentation in one place will help you for the next round):
1.    Supplemental Security application and determination letter (if you choose to appeal, keep all these documents together)
2.    In PA: Application and determination letter for Medical Assistance, plus any invoices you submitted for reimbursement
3.    In NJ: Application and determination letter for supports and services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities

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Last Updated: March 3, 2014

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.


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