A group of South Carolina lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would require private insurers to cover services for all autism patients regardless of age. Industry lobbyist, Larry Marchant says that if passed, the bill would cause the health insurance premiums that individuals or families pay to increase 25%, and would average out to an extra $200 a month for those enrolled in family plans, according to State.com on March 26, 2006.
In addition, the financial burden that a disorder like autism takes on families is absolutely devastating. Upon becoming autistic after receiving vaccines at 16 months, Laura Bono says her son, "Jackson's medical and therapy needs began taking every bit of money we had saved or ever would have saved."
"The total we have paid for Jackson's medical, nutritional and private therapy expenses so far," Laura says, "is roughly $685,000 since August 1990."
That amount averages out to well over $50,000 a year.
There is no escaping the fact that the epidemic is having a profound impact on society; not only on autistic children and their families, but on our public health care programs and school systems as well. And, until vaccine-makers are held accountable, taxpayers will continue to carry the full burden.
I wish I had $50,000 a year to give to Ben for his "therapy". I think it would have something to do with living on a tropical island.
Oh, wait...That would be MY therapy!
These are the parents I "shocked" when I sent them to "gettingthetruthout.org". I'm not kidding. I am from the city in America where this is going on. And I belong(ed) to a group that is instrumental in seeing it come to fruition, the $100,000 a year therapy PER CHILD that they want to see legislated to be covered by insurance. Mr. Lovaas is wetting his pants over this, I'm sure.
Hell, they could have saved $50,000 a year if they would have read the blog. (Once autistic, always autistic. Get used to it...)
One thing about Ben's therapy...If it interfered with our ability to pay, he didn't get it. And when we moved to South Carolina, if it interfered with the family budget say, with funds earmarked for going to the beach...He didn't get it. If it meant skipping McDonald's...He didn't get it.
There is such a thing as desperation. And I think the people who try to "help" are not necessarily of questionable ethics, everybody has to make a living doing something . Some people need to feel like a Savior, in a sad sort of way.
And if they can get people to believe in their "religion" of gluten/casein free diets, mega-vitamins, dolphin therapy, chelation, ABA : who is to say it's wrong?
My Dad was a bartender. Some people feel he had questionable ethics, but he had to feed 10 kids and send those who wanted it to college. And it wasn't like he "forced" anyone to drink...He was just there to take advantage of a human propensity to share convivial wit while under the influence of alcohol. He put up with a lot o'crap, too. He never tried to be more than he was...
But when we use our desperation to enact a tremendous cost to others...
Well, this post may or may not make sense to any of you. But I am not going to delete it this time so I don't hurt the tender feelings of parent's who are putting their kids through hell to try to make them the children of their dreams. I feel for you because I wasted a few years, and a few bucks trying to do it.
Most of what I did, I did myself for free. And lately, I don't do a damn thing. And guess what? The guilt is gone!!!
I want to quote the last paragraph of the expanded edition of Thinking in Pictures: My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin.
She tells it directly as I see it.
I would like to conclude this list of sources with a warning. There is no magic cure for autism and parents must be cautious to avoid being misled by extravagant claims by people who are promoting their brand of therapy. Treatments that are effective should work with reasonable amounts of effort treatment program that works for one child may be useless for another. Treatments and educational programs that are effective can be implemented without spending huge sums of money. Dedicated parents and good teachers have made their own effective programs after reading different books. They did not have to have expensive training. A parent should follow his or her own good instincts. Try different programs or methods and keep the things that work and eliminate the things that do not work. Combining several different approaches is often effective.(emphasis mine)
Having autism doesn't seem to preclude one from having common sense.