Diagnosis week…or is it?
Monday could be the day we know, or we will just continue on our quest without a diagnosis and also without insurance coverage for any of our much needed therapies. Benjamin’s insurance will cover ABA therapy, speech and occupational therapy — if we have a diagnosis. There is no coverage without. Much frustration as we pay about $260 per month for health insurance for well visits (not that many needed past the age of 2) and emergencies. Benjamin is healthy and we are done with all the infant illnesses so we don’t frequent the pediatrician much anymore, which is a good problem. Then we have expenses for our uncovered therapies because we don’t have a diagnosis. Right now about $190 per week or $760 per month.
While I don’t want a diagnosis of autism, I would sincerely like to submit my receipts to the insurance that we pay for each month. I will take a selfie hitting submit on my computer when I submit them to the insurance company. I don’t like photos of myself, but I can guarantee that I will be grinning big sending those first receipts in.
Benjamin has started to sign — this is very exciting for us because he hasn’t done so before. He signs “open” consistently to open doors and containers. We have a bag of therapeutic sand in a Tupperware. The sand is sacred because a small bag at Target is $14. It’s good for sensory stimulation and Benjamin loves the Tupperware with his sand. He drives his cars in there and the dinosaurs get to visit the sand too. He knocks on the lid and signs “open”. Or to open the patio door or the cookie box. We have expanded on the magical sand with a regular sand box sand on our patio in his water table and Benjamin really enjoys that too, so he signs “open” to go out on the patio. Happy dance. Benjamin is communicating!
Since my last post, we have doubled up on his ABA therapy. Our goddess of ABA therapy has a friend that also works with ABA therapy. We took the opportunity to get more ABA therapy, it is not nearly enough, but 2 hours per week is better than 1. Our new ABA therapist feels, like we all do, that the speech is near. There are no physiological reasons why Benjamin can’t speak. He makes plenty of sounds and mimics sounds. So we will keep on working with therapy and we pray for the words to come.
July will be a big month for us.
On Monday the 10th we see the neurologist. He may give us the diagnosis, or he may not. I would like to think I am prepared either way. I sincerely do not want an autism diagnosis but the small part of me that deals logically with finances would like a diagnosis. It would help us get Benjamin more therapy.
On the 17th, Benjamin will also have a 2 hour evaluation by the Department of Education’s Child Find team. On the 20th we have the meeting with the Child Find team to learn what they recommend.
At this point we will, regardless of diagnosis or no diagnosis, get what is referred to as an Independent Education Plan or IEP. This magical document will be given to us because we have a severe speech delay. With this magical document in hand, we may apply for a grant allowing for $10,000 per year that can be used toward therapy, tuition or any other expense as outlined for Benjamin in his IEP.
July is a big month for us indeed. It marks the end of the bridge of this part of our journey that leads to our next chapter.
Go Team B!