Cost of Autism: Canadian Province Gives Parents Funding
Having an autistic kid is expensive. Not the kind of expenses you'd have for a child who has limited physical mobility or a chronic health issue. But expensive in the way of paying for behaviour therapy, weighted blankets and vests, communication tools, and round the clock supervision.
One of the beautiful things about living in Canada is most provinces offer some form of help for families saddled with these extra expenses. This usually means a free or subsidized program – say behaviour therapy (ABA) for preschoolers with autism. Kids lucky enough to be diagnosed at an early age then proceed to a waiting list, and if that luck holds they get a year or two of part-time therapy before they start school.
Of course the downside is if the list is too long, kids age off without ever getting the much needed service.
Not so in my new home of British Columbia. Here, parents apparently fought tooth and nail for help. And now it comes in the form of an expense account, to be used to pay for materials and services the parent chooses within reasonable limits. Parents can hire a support worker, engage the services of a behaviour therapist or other professional, or use the funds to pay for an organized activity like summer camp.
Children who are under 6 get a very large sum of money in order to pay for intensive therapy before they start school. Older kids get $6,000 per year to be spent on non-school related activities and equipment.
All I can say is, what a blessing this is for those of us who need it!
This article was previously published on another site, and I've chosen to migrate it here for better exposure.
Image Credit » http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autism_Awareness_Ribbon.png