Why Medicaid Matters to Tammy-Jean and Her son with Asperger's (ASD)

Last updated: May 23, 2024

Logan is very funny, honest, cannot tell a lie to save his life even if he had to! He sees things as they are.   Though he’s only 14, his story is a long one.  At two and half I began to notice that he wasn’t able to communicate or hold eye contact. He had problems with textures and taste.  At first, I just thought Logan was a picky eater. Even the doctor said it would get better.  But, as he got older things just got worse.  At four he started losing weight, he lost six pounds in six weeks. For years we struggled to understand what was happening.  It seemed like no one could help us, not the school, not his doctors. Finally, in 2010, I fought for Logan to be seen by a specialist at Bradley Hospital. He was seven.  December 10th, 2010 was the best and worst day of my life.  That’s when Logan was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

“Because Logan is diagnosed with Asperger’s (ASD) I see my most important job as his advocate. I always say, he is my heart and I am his voice.”

Tammy-Jean Frappier, Full time working mom of 14 year-old son Logan

I’ve fought hard to get Logan the accommodations he needs at school, even moving to another town because the school system could better help him thrive. His new school is phenomenal; he gets occupational therapy to help him with anxiety and to manage relationships with other kids. 

At 12, Logan became eligible for Medicaid’s Katie Beckett program. Katie Beckett helps pay for what we call a P.A.S.S. worker.  (A P.A.S.S. worker is a personal assistant to help children with special health care needs to live and participate as valued family and community members, thereby fostering their independence.) I call her a miracle worker because in the year and half she’s worked with Logan, I have seen such a huge change.  He goes places he would have never gone before like the library and grocery store. She pushes him in ways that I can’t. He volunteers at a farm! For a kid who won’t eat, this is amazing. 

Medicaid matters because for the first time, we have a full team. His P.A.S.S. worker rounds us out and helps Logan experience a sense of excitement for his future.

We still face lots of challenges, and we’re still working out some of the bumps at his new school. But with opportunities like the school’s Pathways program, and with the support he gets under Medicaid with his P.A.S.S. worker, I see excitement in Logan.  He came home from school recently and said he was going to serve on the student council, which puts him right in the center of what’s happening in the school community. And, he’s gone to his first dance. It’s amazing!  Granted, he sat on the bleachers with his back against the wall, but he was still there and, he wants to do it again.