Thursday, March 20, 2008

Economic Options

Just when you think you've got your feet under you, the economy takes a tank.

There are some economic realities when you have a kid in therapies. One, if you own a house, no matter the mortgage, you are at the mercy of your medical insurance. If you are lucky like us, your medical insurance will pitch in for occupational therapy, and (less often) speech therapy. But educational tutoring and "therapy"? You are on your own- or stuck with what the school gives you.

Which means when the economy goes down, folks that are not being helped already by social services, the schools, and community services due to low income have to choose between therapy for the child and paying the mortgage/rent. Therapy or food? And what about the second mortgages we already had to take out to pay for therapies? What happens when home values crash, and those equity lines and second mortgages are "called in"?

Which brings us to the question we have on our minds here: continue ABA, or not?

Joey gets two hours of ABA per week. For folks who have heard kids need 40 hours per week, we're a little farther along in the program. We're not working on discrete trials for responses; we're working on supporting the school program and generalizing skills. We've moved beyond having some college kid sitting at a table with flashcards and M&Ms. Besides, at $65 an hour, who can afford it? Private pay, we get a 30% discount. That's $78 a week, or $314-$390 per month.

Imagine if we could put that money towards the mortgage, instead of taking it from the mortgage. What is more important for Joey, generalization therapy or a roof over his head?


Niksmom said...

Yes, again, you highlight a very critical issue that so many "mainstream" parents, educators, average persons simply don't understand.

Jannalou said...


Man, I should move near you. I've never made that much working with autistic children.

Casdok said...

I think i will go and work with autistic kids!

Stimey said...


If we keep Jack out of kindergarten next year, we will probably have to pay for services ourselves.

Like I said: blerg.

kristi said...

Yep, we have to pay a deductible for OT and right now it is hard for us to make it much less pay out for additional therapy. My therapist is letting me pay her as I can, thank GOD.