One step forward…
Finally, a step in the right direction. I’m sure I’m not alone in being frustrated regularly by the lack of support for the parents of children with Autism or an ASD, financial and otherwise. Hopefully this is the first of many institutions who will accept responsibility and set the standard for others to follow.
US health insurance provider Blue Shield will now provide parents with funding for applied behaviour analysis or behavioural intervention therapies. Read more here. With arguments that these services are not a therapy or a treatment, insurers have settled their disputes according to California Law.
Now, where I live we don’t actually pay for medical treatment, per se. But the struggle to get it at all remains the same. Professionals who are often to swift in sticking an imaginary label on your child’s forehead, are less forthcoming when it comes to ‘what to do next’. In personal experience, one paediatrician dealing with Twig (briefly) refused to refer us to an Autism Support Group, because he wasn’t diagnosed officially. When I asked him to provide a diagnosis, then, he declined, saying they weren’t able to. So, I pointed out, not particularly politely, because they were failing to pinpoint an exact term to explain my child, I had to just accept the fact that I was to be isolated from the few support groups existing in the area. As if the parent’s job wasn’t hard enough!
Yeah, that guy didn’t last long.
Every ‘service’ we’ve tried, I have had to hunt down on my own and fight to get into. And, in most cases, fund by myself. The group speech therapy, where the ‘leaders’ gave up after five minutes and left Twig sobbing alone in the corner while they dealt with the easier, ‘normal’ children. The individual language therapy, where the so called expert refused to actually listen to what I was describing to her, then wondered why emptying a box of toys onto the floor and immediately asking Twig to leave them and sit at the table would cause him distress. Moron.
Not everything has been a disaster, though. Music Therapy, after perservering for a few sessions, was a huge hit and seemed to really help Twig when it came to expressing himself via means other than speech, which is his real weakness. It was, however, too expensive for us to continue. More recently I’ve discovered that horseback riding seems to relax him and help him to focus, so we try to do that regularly.
Anyway, back to the point. Support. It’s sparse, often expensive and usually difficult to find. In a society that provides help for everything else, particularly self-inflicted problems such as smoking or excessive drinking or even trouble sleeping, how is it that Autism and ASDs have been overlooked for so long and, unfortunately, continue to be in many parts of the world?
I’m optimistic that this is a major move forward in helping society in coming to terms with the condition that dictates every aspect of life for us. It’s about time.