Once your child is diagnosed with autism,   there are a lot of specialized tests and therapies required to help your child reach their maximum potential.  These therapies and blood tests and doctor visits do not come cheap.  Taca( Talk about curing autism)  wrote an article in 2008 estimating that the cost of  1 1/2 hours of speech therapy a week,  1 1/2 hours of Occupational therapy a week, and 30 hours of  ABA therapy a week costs about $ 82,000 a year.  That was 82,000 for only three treatments.  There are also blood tests and doctor visits and possibly specialized diets .   So,  how are you going to pay for all of this?  What are your options?

  • Private Pay or Out of Pocket:   Unless you have a spare $80,000- $100,000 a year laying around that you do not need for other expenses,  you can not foot the entire bill.  You will need other  financial resources.
  • Early Intervention:  If your  child is diagnosed before three years of age, schedule an evaluation with your state's early intervention program.  This is a program sponsored by your state in cooperation with the federal government to provide services to children with developmental delays between birth and 3 years of age.  Click on this link  to transfer you to the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center  where you can obtain your state's contact information.  Proceed to NECTAC          
  • Local School System:  Once a child reaches three years of age, the child is transitioned into the local school system.  An Individual Education Plan( IEP)  will be formulated as the school system can provide  some of the required therapies.  Contact your local school system to obtain information about this process.
  • Medicaid:  This program can provide financial assistance to children and families who have limited financial resources.  Each state can have slightly different rules and regulations.  Click on this link to obtain more information about this program in your state. Proceed to Medicaid information.

  • Social Security Income:  This program can provide assistance to children under 18 years of age with limited financial resources.  Click on this link to obtain more information about this program from the Social Security Administration.  Proceed to SSA.
  • Private Health Insurance:   Private health insurance is defined as  insurance  that is not funded by the government.  This type of insurance  is obtained through a private health insurance company.  It can be provided  through one's employment or union and can also be purchased by individuals.  If you have private insurance through your employer, the first thing I would do is to read through the certificate of coverage.  This is a detailed explanation of what is covered and what is not.  If you do not have this paperwork ask you employer for a copy or obtain it   online through the  insurance companies website.  When reviewing this certificate,  pay close attention to what situations are covered and when.  Find out what the copays and deductibles are for both in and out of network providers.  Pay attention to the percentage of reimbursement once the deductible limits are reached. Find  out what the out of pocket limits are.   Some insurance companies are better than others at paying claims.  There are  informative articles at the TACA website on insurance basics and insurance pays for what?   Click on these blue links to access this valuable information.  Proceed to insurance basics    Proceed to insurance pays for what ?

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