Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Cost of Autism
First let me say, I am lucky, I live in a great school district that will pay for my sons preschool. Most of the things I would like to do to help my son are extra, but like I have said, once you have a child you will do ANYTHING to help them. I find that a lot of people not effected have no idea the cost, time, stress that is placed on us parents who are raising 1, 2 even 3 children with Autism. So here I will lay it out.....and as of now, nothing is covered by insurance :)
Average Cost home ABA - $60-$100 per hour.....20-40 hours a week recommended = $1,200- $4,000
Average Cost of Speech Therapy - $50-$80 an hour 2 hours a week = $100-$160
Average cost of Occupational Therapy - $70-$120 an hour 2 hours a week = $140- $240
Average cost of Physical Therapy - $50- $120 an hour 2 hours a week = $100- $240
Average Cost of Special Ed School with Autistic Program- $35,000 - $93,000 a year
OK those things for most of us in NY state are covered.....that is except that amount of ABA hours, I get 15 hours covered and can not pay for the extra. Once my son starts school he will get no ABA, that is unless I get a doctor to say he needs it. There is no way on earth I can afford 1/8th of that so I will have to do it myself at home which leads me to...........
Loss of wages because one parents must now be a teacher - 20k-60k a year..... oh yea people forget that part.
Now the Extras
School supplies and Tools (language builder cards, ipads, apps, speech therapy tools, trampolines, sensory tools, swings, feeding tools ) - $200 - $5,000
Hyperbaric Treatments - Recommended 40 hour treatments = $4,000
Vitamins and Supplements = $300-$1,000 a year depending on severity
Biofeedback = 60 hours with in one year @ $150 a session = $9,000
Chelation Therapy- $75- $125 an hour...I'm not even sure what the hours are on this but I know the cost is in the thousands.
Gluten free and Casein free diets - I cant even begin to go into this....this is something I CAN NOT do.......I can not pay $4 for a loaf of bread. Everything is literally twice the price of regular. i dont have the will power to go through with this.... .I suppose is all else failed, I would do it.
Now I will get contreversial.......there are some groups that do not help with these things mentioned above (Autism Speaks). People walk for Autism and raise awareness and I love it. My issue is where does the money go.....the largest chunk to salaries, the second chunk to research.....25 million to research to find one gene (which doesnt exist) that causes Autism. $1.7 million went to 34 families to help them........that's out of about 72 Million raised. I say instead find an organization that give the money to the FAMILIES. I had an issue lately where my husband wanted to start our own run to put money away to look into getting the Hyperbaric Treatments at St. Josephs in Bethpage......I tried to tell him that we cant really start our own run, but he was just trying to help. There are plenty of local organizations in everyone's areas that help the kids, and help the families, donate to them. Here On long Island we have the Nassau/Suffolk Austim Society, they set up family days free of charge at different museums and places around the area free of charge for families.
Having a Child with Special Needs is exhausting, its stressful in every aspect. And if anything check out this Blog From Lost and Tired <------he does a wonderful job of explaining what us parents really need.