Who Pays?

The recommended treatment for children with apraxia is five days of speech therapy, 1/2 an hour per day. The speech therapist must drill the child on their sounds and strengthen the muscles of the mouth by tooting horns and blowing bubbles.

I’m not a hundred percent gung-ho therapy person, but at the same time, I am not willing to gamble with my kid’s future. If the experts recommend all that therapy, then we’ll do it, but exercising some common sense over the process. When therapy starts to interfere with the social development of the kid or to make the entire family crazy, then it is time to step back a bit.

Getting services for children with disabilities is expensive business. Ian’s speech therapy alone would cost $500 per week. Other kids also need therapy for their fine and gross motor skills. Who pays for all this help?

Well, that’s unclear. Is it the parent, the school district, or the health insurance company? Nobody wants to pick up that tab. So, the bill circles the table with the parent trying to pressure the other two diners to do their share. This shuffle for the bill is complicated business, and those with less resources are at a huge disadvantage.

We simply cannot afford Ian’s therapy on our own, so I have spent the good part of this year reading up on special education law and pressuring bureaucrats. I gave up on the health insurance company early on, because there were no local speech therapists who were experienced with apraxic kids who took our health insurance. Instead, I’ve been working on the school district. From the beginning, I faced a hostile bureaucracy designed to frustrate parents and to save money.

At first, the school district told us that they only gave two days of speech therapy to kids, which was a lie, as well as illegal. School districts cannot impose limits on services based on cost, but it took me a long time to figure that out.

They dragged their feet with paperwork putting off his services for a month.

They put us through a battery of tests and interviews, which were intrusive, redundant, or irrelevant.

The latest fight is with Ian’s teacher who won’t allow any communication with parents.

It’s been an ordeal, because, at the end of the day, schools don’t want to pay for the needs of disabled kids. They reward their administrative gatekeepers for keeping costs down.

Who should pay? School district or health insurance company? I don’t care, but the parents of disabled children cannot foot this bill alone.

6 thoughts on “Who Pays?

  1. I have a good friend who has twin boys. Their speech did not develop normally. They only communicated with each other in twin language. At 3, they were actually put in a full time district preschool for children with developmental delays. They went for 2 years, and could have stayed for kindergarten had they needed it. They received speech therapy every day. I remember she was very happy with it. I thought programs like this were probably the norm, I’m sorry they aren’t .

  2. Blogging for Kids

    My post today is part of a blogosphere-wide effort to raise awareness about special education and childhood disability. Laura M, of 11D, is organizing things and I will link to all participants as they come on-line throughout the day

  3. Blogging for Kids

    My post today is part of a blogosphere-wide effort to raise awareness about special education and childhood disability. Laura M, of 11D, is organizing things and I will link to all participants as they come on-line throughout the day

  4. I battle with school districts everyday to get services for children. I cant imagine how hard it is for parents to do this on their own. If you need some advice, please contact me. Our services are free of charge.

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