Autism is expensive…yeah that’s the understatement of the Century isn’t it?
I actually had a friend of ours say that to me and I think I replied…”uhhh yeah, no kidding…”
Like that one time you went to Mexico and came back with some strange rash (hypothetically speaking of course)…autism is the gift that keeps on giving.
Often when I am talking to parents–in particular other fathers–the topic of money and how expensive therapies and medicines and treatments and just about everything can be. I have to say that it’s terrifying to really think about how much money we have spent over the past 7 years on my son…but I know deep in my heart that it’s all worth it.
It wasn’t always like that. I remember one time my wife wanted us to go to a weekend conference on autism…I threw a HUGE tantrum and basically said, “why do I need to go to a conference where they’re going to talk about autism and remind me that my child isn’t typical and then they’ll try and sell me some magic potion and will try and convince me that this magic elixir is the end-all, be-all for treatment of autism!”
I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to spend the money, I didn’t want to be around those in a similar situation like mine.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the only scientifically proven therapy to help children on the spectrum…and it’s expensive.
My son takes medication to help his moods and swings…that’s expensive.
There are all sorts of secondary therapies: horse, gymnastics, music, art, water, judo, kung-fu….yeah those are expensive.
As a father I hated spending money on these things…do they really work? How do I even know they work? It sure doesn’t SEEM like it’s helping my son.
It’s not like he was coming home and showing me new Kung-Fu moves…or really becoming a polished horseman…or telling me how much he was enjoying these activities.
Ahhh…once again the ugly head of selfishness rears it’s little head.
It’s not about me. It’s not about what I think or what I want or what I can see or what I can prove. It’s about my son. He might not be the next Bruce Lee…but I know he’s getting something out of Kung-Fu…I’ve seen him improve and that little improvement bit-by-bit….is enough to pay for lessons.
You have to remember that progress has to be measured differently from your other “typical” children…it’s not a linear progress…you might never see progress! You might see little bitty progress and then BOOM…a lot.
Yes…autism is expensive. Figure out a budget. Talk to your spouse. Make sure you don’t spend money where you can’t spend money. Do your research on activities and therapies and medicines…if you feel it’s worth it and you feel that it will benefit your child…and you have the money…go for it.
Remember…you and your spouse are the family…your child is an addition to your family unit. If you are causing your family hardship by spending on things for one child…to the detriment of the others in the family…then you might want to reconsider what you’re spending on and try to cut back a little.
Money isn’t going to cure autism. While there are many expensive aspects to autism…there are also some free aspects to autism as well. Go to the park. Run around the yard. Embrace your child. Smile at your child. Make them know they’re loved. Hold them to a high standard…when you want them to pay attention to you–make them pay attention to you (even for a few seconds)
It’s not going to benefit your special needs child one bit if you spend all your money and have nothing for them…
Go for it!
To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”. Or find them on YouTube. To contact TheFowler4 Group email: firstname.lastname@example.org