How much would you spend for treatment.. — The Bump
Special Needs

How much would you spend for treatment..

This will be long, but I would appreciate anyone's input, particularly that of the ASD moms.  My older DS has a dx of of PDD-NOS.  For lack of a better term, he is extremely high functioning.  We have spent a lot of time that I feel was wasted doing 6 months of speech and OT.  Honestly, looking back on it I can't tell you a single thing that I think he "learned" with those therapies.  Because he is now 3, he is in the public school system and in my area the only thing they have that is available for his needs is a one hour visit from a speech therapist and special ed. teacher to his preschool.  We have to pay for private preschool.  We think this is necessary as most of his issues are social and following directed activities. This is fine and fits into our budget.

We have also been exploring ABA (which we will have to pay for primarily out of pocket).  In this area I would hire an ABA consultant and would then have to find my own therapists.  A consultant in this area that came very highly recommended from the areas only develpmental ped. told me that a lot of people in this area use Craiglist for this, which just seemed insane to me.  So if we went this route I'm just imagine it being a bit crazy with him in school in the mornings and then doing ABA in our home in the afternoon, quite heavily at first.  Most importantly I'm trying to figure out how the ABA will really work since most of his issues are dealing with others which is hard to mimic in the home.

I have found a private preschool that has an ABA department.  They would work with him with other ASD children initially and then gradually move him into one of their regular preschool classes.  They use a shadow system to move him into the regular classroom and then gradually fade that out, offering support only when needed.  So if they find circle time is especially hard for him, the shadow might keep coming back for that and they check in with the teacher and him several times a day.  Most importantly he will gradually be moving towards a typical classroom on his own, which everyone agrees is a realistic goal for him.  However, the school is hugely expensive. 

We could afford it for at least for a couple of years, but it would require us to cut back on all non essentials including preschool for our younger child (who isn't talking yet at 18m), Gymboree, classes, etc.  To make this situation even better, we don't qualify for speech therapy through the state because of my DH's income and our insurance will not cover his speech therapy because this is "just a speech delay", however I doubt we could afford to pay for speech therapy with the expensive preschool. 

So, the million dollar question, what would you do?   Enroll him in the ABA school and just cut expenses everywhere else?  Try a regular preschool and ABA first for some trial period?  Just drink heavily and try to forget you have to deal with any of this? :)  If I only had one child it would be a no brainer, but I have no idea how to "choose" one's needs over the other or even how to weigh who's needs are greater right now.

Re: How much would you spend for treatment..

  • I would be fighting to get him the services he needs from the public school.   What they are offering isn't appropriate. 

    In MI and IL my ds (as ASD) qualifies for 4 days a week, 2.5 hours a day pre-school program with minimum 30 minutes a day ST.  I was under the impression that all states had to provide a program like this for ASD 3 and 4 year olds.  And that if your district doesn't have an appropriate program then they must "contract" it out to a neighboring district that does.

    this book was helpful:

    check out the section on school, private and public:


    DS - June 2006 DD1 - November 2007 DD2 - August 2010
  • If he is "extremely high functioning," I would not put him in a primarily ABA program.  Maybe a little ABA on the side to work on a few specific skills, but I don't think mostly ABA is the best way to help an extremely high functioning child with PDD-NOS reach his all.  
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  • Auntie, she did say, "for lack of a better term" when using the phrase "high functioning"...

    Actually, question for you- what term would you use to describe a kid who's been dx'd with an ASD, yet does a good job of "masking" typical behaviors that might otherwise give the diagnosis away, or is good at "blending" with non-ASD kids... seems to me that in many cases, saying something simple like "high functioning" is just a lot easier than all that mumbo jumbo I just typed. :)

    A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garrett
    image7_0002 A ~ 2.7.06 S ~ 9.2.07
  • if you are not set on ABA I would explore DIR and see if you think it suits your family. I have seen DRASTIC changes since implementing this 1 yr ago ( i literally have a different child) and a lot of thatcan be done at home once you learn a bit about it etc. Also, our insurance only covers half the yr (yours is being billed wrong because generally if the facility chooses the proper code it isn't written up as a simple delay) so we pay aproximately $500.00 per week between speech ,OT, DIR tutor ( 20 hours is reccomended andit's hard for me to fit them all in so I hire someone to help, he has a blast and is engaged and amazing.

    You may want to see if any hospitals near you have a pediatric speech dept because many of them offer grants to families without insurance to help pay. I can't even tell you how amazing this has been for us, they have cut the price down to about 20 % of a full session price. 

     Don't spread yourself to thin and know that a lot of the therapy you can help out with in the home. best

  • I had a bunch of websites open ready to go search for you, b/c I am just having a hard time beleiving that's all they can offer you in Charlotte.... I'm in Raleigh & I really think I might know a couple people I could ask how the whole Preschool thing works with the public schools there. It sounds like they have given you itinerant services (which is what i was told over and over we would qualify for) and that would not be a good fit for my little boy. After much much time and effort spent on assessing my own child's needs and addressing that at every opportunity, he qualified for a DD classroom. What was your IEP meeting like? Did they place him based on the IEP goals? Did they just say 'no' before the IEP was written?? Curious how that went. 

    I've had such limited time this weekend, I lost all my websites, and keep telling myself I'll come back to this post - so in lieu of going ahead and looking around - do you think you've had enough resources there to know exactly what's offered? Do you want me to ask around?

    I know the school system isn't going to provide a PERFECT setting, but I just feel like for your son's *mild or hf* presentation that maybe there's another way than dragging yourself into this scenario. I'm feeling for you BIG TIME if that's all they really do there, but I'm having a really hard time thinking that's the case. I can say that yes, ABA itself is probably not covered - I know several people fighting insurance over that, but I feel their children are more in need of that service than my little boy and I really don't think I have much of a case (personally). 

    If there really aren't any other things offered through the school system, then you do have to do what you have to do..... but I can't tell you what I would choose. Is middle of the road best for BOTH kids? Is middle of the road not enough for your son w/ASD?  I don't know.


    That link should show all requirements through NC schools to be considered in need of an IEP and services. They should provide SOMETHING that would address his needs 'free and appropriately'. There is a specific section for Autism/Aspergers/ASD/Developmental Delay, etc....


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