The Effects of Out-of-Pocket Expenses of Families with Children Diagnosed with Autism

Once couples decide to start a family, there are a lot of dreams and plans that parents have for their would-be children. They fantasize about what their child will become when they grow up and finish school. This is a natural instinct that parents are known for. On the side, they think about family plans. Part of these small plans may include family picnics and even grand vacations out of state or out of the country.

To dream of financial freedom is what every parent works hard for. They prepare everything that they can possibly imagine just for the sake of their children. The effort to provide most needs even double when they have a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism). The family funds that are normally set aside for long vacations, a new car, or even for home decorations and repair are diverted to the immediate needs of their child. Every cent counts. Every working time is counted properly to make sure that their child's needs are met so that they can one day lead a normal life.

The rewards that parents get from their child are the signs of progress that they see. Just hearing your child saying the word "mama" or "papa" is good enough to let tears fall. Hearing your child distinguish milk from juice is a progress to a parent whose child is under special care in the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program.

All these progress comes at a cost. The family will have to live on a day-to-day basis making sure that each expense is properly monitored. There are some important huddles, as well, done with doctors, instructors, and therapists to save money. There are even parents who will ask their child's therapists what they can do at home to make sure that their child's progress is on track. It is a good thing that most experts in this field are very understanding and would provide informal help by giving them additional instructions they can do at home.

One of the biggest setbacks that these families have is that the care program that their child needs cannot be claimed in their private insurances. There are even some guidelines that prevent them from making claims through Medicaid. Most of the expenses will come from their pockets and, in some cases, the family income may fall short of their child’s needs.

When a family has a child diagnosed with autism, the needs of the other children are sacrificed. Instead of putting them in private schools, some families make ends meet by putting their children in public schools. The family fund is mostly diverted to the child that needs more attention. The good part is that the other siblings do not really look at their needs as neglected. They even exert effort to help out their parents for their brother or sister's needs. The love that is evident in this type of family is far greater than those found in regular families.

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