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where, Martin said, research shows they do better.

Johnette Medina, a family support specialist, has a 10 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago. She said he couldn't focus at school and struggled to stay in his seat.

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Woodbury County teams visit with families in their homes or at the program's headquarters Siouxland District Health Department. They help them connect with a therapist, understand their child's prescription or work on developing an individualized education program with their child's school. After a hospitalization, the team helps the child transition back home or to another setting and coordinates follow up care. When he was diagnosed at age 8, Knight said she felt alone.

Launched in July by the Iowa Department of Human Services and Magellan Health Services, the state's contractor for Medicaid funded services, "integrated health homes" are designed to help families manage the health Fendi Monster Tote Bag Black

Iowa began implementing integrated health homes statewide for Medicaid eligible children and adults in three phases last summer. There will be 40 provider agencies in the state by July 1. Twenty eight of them will serve children. Each agency employs teams of social workers, nurses and peer counselors.

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to cover mental health care, including behavioral assessments for children at no cost. But parents are struggling to find providers.

His father, Juan, seated in a wooden chair, held him tightly on his lap as his mother, Claudia, inched the buzzing clippers toward the 8 year old Sioux City boy's head.

Haircuts are a nightmare in the Flores household. In December, Jeffery's kicking and struggling bruised Claudia's body and snapped a leg off the chair, sending him, Claudia and Juan tumbling to the kitchen floor.

"It's frustrating navigating the system trying to get into a doctor, a therapist, a psychiatrist," she said.

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care needs of 16,000 Iowa children ages 3 to 17 who are covered by Medicaid and have been diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that impairs daily functioning.

The integrated homes were developed after legislation passed in 2011 directing the Department of Human Services to lead a redesign of the state's fragmented mental health services system. Woodbury County program supervisor Sheila Martin said the state had been spending significant amounts of money on very few children who were being placed in foster homes and psychiatric institutions outside their communities.

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IHH provide families with a personalized care team of a care coordinator, nurse care manager and family support specialist who has a child with a similar disorder.

school attendance and 40 percent improved their school performance. Caregivers also reported improved functioning among their children.

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Jeffery Flores, 8, and his sister, Zipporah, 10, share a quiet moment together on Jan. 21. Jeffrey has autism and ADHD. His mother, Claudia Flores, is helping other parents navigate the often confusing mental health care system.(Photo: AP)

"He takes medicine, but the medicine don't do much," Claudia Flores said of the adhesive patch Jeffery wears on his skin to calm him.

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A provision of the new health care law encourages states to develop these kinds of services by federally funding 90 percent of the cost for the first two years. Iowa will pay only 10 percent of the cost of the program until June 30, 2015. State officials estimate spending on the program to be $30.8 million in state fiscal year 2014 and $59.9 million in 2015.

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Jeffery's family is learning to cope with his outbursts, which are sometimes set off by the word "no," the color red and loud noises."It's kind of stressful because he starts to scream and it hurts my ears, but I have to get used to it," said his 10 year old sister, Zipporah.

Flores is using her experiences with Jeffery in her paid position as a family support specialist to help other Woodbury County parents navigate a complex and often confusing mental health care system.

´╗┐Integrated health homes aid Iowa kids with disorders

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Jeffery, who loves to dance and collects balls in a shoe box, was diagnosed at age 3 with autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects his ability to communicate and interact with others. He also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, a condition that causes extreme emotional outbursts.

"My family was an amazing support, but they didn't understand," she said.

Community Circle of Care, a grassroots community based program in northeastern Iowa that integrated health homes are modeled after, serves children in Clinton, Decorah, Dubuque and Oelwein. Of the children who received services there for at least 12 months, 46 percent had better Bag Fendi

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An Iowa Board of Medicine database lists 10 actively practicing psychiatrists in Sioux City. Only three of them specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry. When children with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders act out, frustrated parents take them to hospital emergency rooms out of desperation.

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Integrated health homes won't fill these mental health care provider gaps, but they will help families access the services that exist in their communities and keep children in their homes, Fendi Card Case Price

Kyle Carlson, director of community relations for Magellan Health Services, said Medicaid eligible children living in a county without an integrated health homes provider can choose to receive services in a nearby county. Much of the care coordination, he said, can be done by phone.

Physician Thomas Benzoni said these children are often transported to youth psychiatric institutions in Cherokee and Fendi Forever Hobo Council Bluffs, because there is little he can do for them in Mercy Medical Center's ER. There are no hospital beds in Sioux City for children who are a danger to themselves or others.

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