The Fleecing of a Bank Account
Available in select households.
There is this thing called money, it is something you have to have in order to have anything. I used to have extra of this magical item (not a lot, just…enough), but that was before kids, and certainly before Autism.
If you do any research on Autism, you can find every treatment under the sun (some are helpful, some are not), but all of them come with a price tag; usually a hefty one. Specialized doctors are not covered by insurance (and they’re crazy expensive), and standard doctors (those that insurance will happily pay for) have no f@cking clue about anything other than pharmaceuticals (“Oh, your child has Autism, just dope them up, they’ll be fine“)!
Add to that…
- Special diets: Gluten, nut, egg, soy, corn, starch, yeast, GMO, MSG, carbs, preservative, dye, and flavor free (or sh!t is going down)! And so expensive you may need to take out a loan to keep the child fed for just a year.
- Special clothes: Tag-less and super soft only, unless I want my child to reenact a stunt scene from ‘Backdraft’!
- Special Tests: Genetic testing for defects or abnormalities; hair analysis for heavy metals; stool for parasites, flora counts and bacteria; and urine for organic acid analysis – basically if it is a part of your body, or comes out of it, it must be tested.
- Sensory gear: Who doesn’t love a $100 dollar blanket filled with your weight in sand?
- Supplements: Because when they only eat 20 different foods, they are bound to need help in the “nutrient” area. And see “special tests” for guaranteed things that will need addressing with more supplementation.
- Therapies: Speech, Physical, Social, and 15 others that for kids like mine, do Jack & Squat, and Jack left town.
- Alternative communication aids: Sign language books and videos, PEC card systems, Tablets & PC’s with 100’s of dollars worth of “speech” apps, and a Ouija board for good measure.
- Personal Care Items: Diapers & wipes well past the acceptable age of potty training and in super expensive “adult” versions that work about as well as strapping a colander to the kids butt. Special soaps and shampoos, tooth brushes, hair brushes; anything and everything we use on a daily basis that generally freak my son out.
- Adaptive toys: Because when you have motor control issues, normal toys are stupid.
- Adaptive food and drink apparatus: My son drank from a bottle until he was six, not my proudest moment, but he refused any other form of drinking device until I managed to jury-rig something (store bought stuff is sooo last century mom) with a straw that he was comfortable with; a glass jar from a local restaurant (if they ever go out of business I’m up sh!t creek), a metal lid with a hole and gasket to prevent leaks, and an extra long acrylic straw (both from Amazon, each fairly well priced); and I wish this was all a joke.
These are just things I’ve actually paid for, there are many more things that a child with Autism may require, and they are all expensive (and when they grow up it does not ease the financial burden in any way, shape or form).
My complaint is not my child… it is with the greedy companies trying to make a sh!t ton of money off of the suffering of others. I am aware this is not a new concept to the human race, we can be greedy f@ckers, but Autism is the only medical diagnosis I am aware of that fleeces the parents/guardians so damn much. On top of all these expenses, I still have to pay my normal bills; rent, utilities, insurance, car payment, etc. Sure, the easy answer here would appear to be: just get a better job or move to a cheaper area. Believe me, if those were options, I’d have done them long ago. I don’t have money to move – oh did you not know that it takes money to do that? And while yes, I am a stay at home mom (which makes no money), if I had a job then I’d have to pay for a special school for my son and a sitter or after school care on top of that, and that doesn’t even cover the care I’d need for my daughter; it would basically be a wash and therefore pointless. With so many children being diagnosed, more and more every year, these companies are taking advantage of our desperation in a very cruel and devastating way.
I hope that someday this fleecing becomes unacceptable to our species, and not just regarding Autism, for everything (pink fuzzy bunnies utopia PLEASE). Until then, I have my $20 a week wine “allowance”…and it’ll have to do.