Saturday, October 20, 2012

The cost of the "differently abled" child

It is obvious that raising a child who is "different" comes with a whole host of emotional, psychological, social and personal costs. There are losses we experience that we don't see coming. There are more sleepless nights than we can possibly count. There are many fights, battles and disagreements we have with spouses, family members, therapists, doctors, insurance companies, etc. There is also the obviously loss of time. We devote hours and hours and hours to appointments, therapies, etc.

But there is also the literal cost. The money. The bottom line. We are fortunate enough to have good health insurance. It was better when we first got it, but it is still good by comparison. But it is expensive... and it doesn't cover everything. Helmets (at $50 a pop), a walker (around $250), ankle braces ($700), stair rails ($100) and SO MANY OTHER pieces of equipment are not covered at all by our insurance. So we paid. We cut out other things and we paid. Every single time we walk into a doctors office we pay minimally $35. Every therapy visit... another $25. Then in our case we have the added cost of feeding Abby the foods that she can eat (to avoid allergies) and that costs us well over $1,000 a year.

If you start tabulating all of those costs as well as the smaller bits and pieces (gas, small therapy devices, etc). it costs thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars annually with no help. I know how lucky we are that we can afford most of it. There are so many people who couldn't. But in this economy we also have to limit what we buy for her and what treatments/therapies we sign up for depending upon our budget. That part sucks.

It sucks that we are not in a position to try every single thing that could help her. It sucks that we can't buy every piece of adaptive equipment that could make her life easier. As a parent you want to do everything you possibly can for your child. It sucks to have to put limits on it based on your check book.

I guess we just have to be thankful that we have been able to do as much as we have. That and maybe start playing the lottery. ;D

Posted by Kristen Fescoe

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