There’s a bill going through in the state of Michigan (where we moved from) that’s been popping up in my Facebook news feed. The point of the bill? To get insurances to cover autism diagnoses and treatments. It’s being touted as a “moral public responsibility” even.
This is all great news…if your child has an autism diagnosis.
If your child doesn’t have an autism diagnosis but needs speech, occupational, or physical therapy…well, nothing will change for you. Maybe someday, once they get this passed, they might add on other disorders…but if your child doesn’t have a “qualifying diagnosis”…well, sorry. Again.
If this all sounds a bit, oh, bitter with a streak of jealous, it’s only because it is. And because I know what it’s like to be on the other side of this fence, where I can’t get something for my daughter because she doesn’t have the right diagnosis. Or because I can’t apply for a service dog here because they only train them for childre with autism. Or because the first few years, we had to be very picky about what therapies and doctors we could see, because we had to pay out of pocket for it all and our budget was somewhat limited (especially when therapies can run over $100 an hour, or a blood test not covered by insurance is $1200. Been there, done that, wrote the check for a $250 autism screening that told me what we already knew, that Maura didn’t have autism.)
It’s not that I don’t want children with autism to have this coverage – not at all! I just want all kids who need these therapies and treatments to get this sort of coverage. Because little old me, with Miss Sherlock Syndrome, is just one voice that isn’t going to get much airtime compared to the power that is Autism Speaks. According to the news article, the politicians are saying it’ll be easier to get this sort of coveraged pushed through if it’s only for autism, but then later on, other brain disorders could be added. But that’s a lot of maybes…no guarantee it would happen afterwards, and absolutely no guarantee that it would cover children with generic developmental delays.
It’s hard, this sort of story. I know that I could come across as bitchy and uncaring. I don’t mean to be. I think this sort of news is great for my friends who have children with autism, would would greatly benefit from this sort of insurance coverage. I want them to have it. I just know there are other families out there who don’t have an autism label and could also desperately use the coverage.
I just wonder why, if it’s such a moral responsibility to help children with autism, why isn’t it a moral responsibility to help a child like mine?
And I’ve just realized, there’s a bit of a whiney tone to this post…I can’t allow that! So I shall sign off with a funny story…
One of our boys has mild Asperger’s. We went to parent/teacher conferences and in talking to the first teacher, we realized that we’d never mentioned the Asperger’s factor to the school when signing the boy up. So after the teacher mentioned the boy didn’t like speaking up in class, we mentioned how he has Asperger’s, so sometimes it shows by outright bluntness…like his idea of constructive criticism is “that didn’t interest me at all.” sigh.
The teacher responded with “Well this makes sense now! I just thought he was blunt because he was American…um…no offense…but Americans can be blunt.”
We got a laugh out of it and agreed. But it was funny, that one of the boy’s quirks is just written off as “being American”.