I'm sure ALL of you would agree; raising children with special needs can be awfully expensive. In fact, I found a research study that confirmed it. Paul Shattuck, an Associate Professor of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis said in this video that the cost of caring for a child with special needs is three or maybe four times higher than for a child without special needs.
You know it's true but it still hurts that someone says it out loud. It especially stings me since I'm not earning any money at all. I haven't even put any ads on this blog.
Anyway, let's be depressed together, shall we? Does your list look like mine?
Things that I bought and still spend money on to help my children get better:
- compression vest
- fidgety seat thing
- doctors who don't take insurance including my DAN!
- costly supplements and vitamins (not the kind you get at your local pharmacy)
- my blackberry- yes, this is for them too!
- Kirk Martin CDs
- mental health treatment for me (this helps the kids too)
- new stainless steel cookware, supposed to be the least toxic but of course is most expensive
- educational costs
- food shopping for special diets (if I wrote down how much I spend, your computer would even gasp)
- organic meats and veggies (so sad that I can't go all organic)
- a HEPA filter
- moving to a bigger apartment
- listening therapy equipment
- yoga lessons for Logan (possibly private since he has a hard time in a non-special ed setting)
- cranial sacral therapy
- music class for Spencer, gymboree class for Spencer (want to see him in a class with typical kids too)
- more acupuncture visits for me (had to quit for awhile)
- babysitting for me just to go work out!
- memberships to professional organizations for my dormant career
- a new table for my kids- the old one has paint rubbing off even when I am just wiping with a baby wipe!!!!!
Additionally, here's another high-cost-of-special-needs- story in The New York Times which actually features my friend and special needs mom "mentor." The story discussed financial hardships caused in pursuit of providing an appropriate education for their child.
It gets depressing sometimes but I figured out the best thing I could do is to start preparing myself to re-enter the workforce. I'm not wholly sure of what I'll do but I really hope that it will have something to do with the theme of this blog.
Picture: Both of my kids use this table everyday. Logan eats off of it and Spencer works on it with his therapists and eats off of it too. I called the company and they said it was safe but it still makes me crazy. I don't care. I'm buying a new table soon.