So how much does therapy cost? A lot. You'd think that if you had insurance, all or most of your child's therapy sessions would be covered, but it is actually hard to find a company that will. And if you are fortunate enough to have insurance that covers autism therapy, they probably will only cover the first few month's worth. Frustrating isn't it? Along with that, you will most likely need some kind of diagnosis before they'll even think of processing the claim. So here's some ideas on how to get around this ugliness.
If your child is over the age of three, all your therapy services will be performed at the school and covered by the school district. You do not need a diagnosis for this - your child will need to qualify based on developmental testing done for free from the district. You may then choose to find more private therapy beyond that, which you will have to get covered by insurance or pay for.
The state of Washington has a program called Apple Health for Kids. It is medical coverage through dshs, and they're actually really reasonable on income guidelines. For example, a family of 3 making $54,000 a year makes a $30 a month payment for insurance that will cover your child's therapy sessions. And you can use it as a supplement to your own insurance. See it all here: http://hrsa.dshs.wa.gov/applehealth/am_i_eligible.shtml
Tougher to qualify for is Social Security Disability. They offer financial and medical support. The only downside is that they do take a while to process. Here at:
The ARC of Washington has an endowment trust they care for. Check it out here:
Many therapy clinics work as not for profit, meaning, they are there as a charitable organization. Ours offers reduction in fees and hardship applications. Even though we didn't qualify for the hardship, we were assured to keep up therapy and that they would work with us to make it affordable, and they did until we were able to get better insurance.
Understand also, that just because there is a "suggested" amount of therapy your child needs doesn't mean you can't get creative. We had options to have therapy every other week with parental training so that we could continue with therapy while they are not there (which is really what they're trying to accomplish anyway). It is ultimately your decision as to what type and how frequent therapy visits are for your child, and any amount of therapy is beneficial.
If any of you have found other resources you wish to share with the community, please post it in the comments section below and I will put in our local resource page.
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