Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Have No More Money- Do You?

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)
Things to buy or try but I must look forward to doing it another day:
  • 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!!!!!
By the way, I have applied for help through various agencies and still have gotten nothing. Meanwhile, money just keeps flying out the window. Oh, I need new window screens too! The mosquitoes are vicious here. I forgot to put that up there on the list because the mosquitoes really love my kids and once they start scratching, their eczema flares up. Isn't that swell?

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.


Penny Williams said...

No money indeed. Actually, negative money. I just finished a blog about summer activities and my lack of money actually took over as the theme I think. Someone on twitter that I follow said yesterday, "Girls just want to have fun, but this girl needs funds." Amen sister! I too will have to look for work soon (I am employed but this real estate market has put a old on my paychecks). I want so badly to hold onto the employment flexibility so I can be available for my child's special needs. FOr both my kiddos.

When I think about the occupational therapy my son needs and the psychotherapy he would probably use, an the fact that I can't afford to provide either right now, I feel like a bad parent. It is sad that my child has needs I can't meet.

Nope, no money here either.

Jenn said...

I couldn't help but shed some tears when you said you felt like a bad mother. Look at all you do to kick ass for your son to make sure he gets appropriate schooling. YOu are not a bad mom at all! If your child needs OT, please consider getting an private eval to get your school system to wake up. Hopefully your OT will be covered by insurance. A good psych eval might help him get play therapy/counseling in school as well. Keep fighting the good fight. You are only a bad mom if you deny the problems. You are certainly not that.

Melanie said...

high quality fish oil for DHA and EPA
Sensory vest
nubby disk for sitting on floor
folding cloth chair for sitting on floor
crib tent to keep him IN it (even tho he is going to be 3 on saturday)
5 days of preschool instead of three (bec i need the break and he needs the structure)
baby gym (because he is bouncing off the walls if we can't go to the park in bad weather)
the list goes on!

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