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.