Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Michigan, Disabled child’s family worried about lost services | Shaken Baby Syndrome

When he was six weeks old, Ben Zentz was reportedly the victim of “shaken baby syndrome,” leaving him with severe lifelong disabilities.

Though he will reportedly turn 9 years old on Aug. 16, his cognitive age is about 12 months.

He reportedly needs constant care, and as a result of being shaken to the point his skull was fractured, Ben has cerebral palsy, is blind and has a seizure disorder, said his adoptive mother, Debi Zentz. Debi and her husband, Phil, of Shelby Township adopted Ben when he was two.

Many people with disabilities reportedly fear they might lose services because of proposed Medicaid cuts under an austere plan by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Ryan just was named as vice presidential candidate by Mitt Romney.

The Michigan Department of Community Mental Health reportedly lost $37 million in funding, according to a June 14, 2010 news release, but since has had a 4.2 percent appropriations gain of $49.6 million to lift the budget to $1.2 billion.

Federal funds reportedly provide money for CMH budgets in Michigan through Medicaid. Ben receives medical care under Children’s Special Healthcare, funded by CMH.

The Zentzes worry Ben reportedly will lose any gains he has made because Macomb County Community Mental Health basically has eliminated most of his therapies.

In a July 30, 2012 letter to the Zentz family, Tracy Dunton of MCCMH reportedly wrote: “Medical necessity for these services (to Ben) above what the school could provide has yet to be determined.”

Debi reportedly said Ben’s occupational and speech therapy were terminated at the end of April and they fear  his physical therapy also will be cut.

She reportedly notes, however, Ben is unable to go to school because of his multiple disabilities so the basis for denial of what a school can provide is not valid.

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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at

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