Choosing Our Battles

Today I heard from our insurance company that any sort of speech or behavioral therapy has been denied us because “the literature states that ABA and speech therapy are considered experimental in nature and unproven as a cure for autism.” Um, okay. I thought that ABA was THE one treatment that has been considered the most effective in helping young children with ASD. And so what if you can’t cure autism. You can’t cure cancer or diabetes either but treatment and services are usually covered. I am building up steam for an appeal and wonder if others have faced this battle with their insurance companies. There has got to be current literature available that can be referenced, right?

The good news is that New York passed a health insurance law this week that prohibits discrimination in health insurance coverage for children with autism. Wow. I imagine there were hundreds of parents fighting for this. Kudos to New York. It just boggles my mind that with the amount of media coverage autism has received—especially lately—that insurance companies are turning a blind eye.

It feels like time is of the essence right now with J&S’s “early intervention window,” and here I am fighting for the help that could make all the difference while the clock tick-tocks.

What have we been doing lately? School has been pretty awesome for the boys. There is still minimal crying and screaming when I drop them off, but Sam seems super engaged with his world right now. The stimulation he receives there is phenomenal and I can almost see his brain synapses firing as he’s exposed to more and more. John isn’t as fascinated with it all as his brother, but I’m encouraged by the baby steps he is taking: the sensory exercises with pudding and beans and frosting are certainly stressful for him, but he’s getting through it. Today he even smiled at the very new taste of sugar. I feel hopeful.

And yet…tonight I had a meltdown when my dear husband said to me “It’s your turn to give them baths tonight, right?” Oh holy jello I wanted to hit him. Not only am I their primary caregiver during the day, he has been known to go on business trips for 3-4 days at a time. Do I say “Honey, it’s your turn to bathe them the next three nights”? No. There is no equity in our childcare arrangements, so how dare he try to suggest otherwise. How dare he come home (yes, from a long day at the office) and not immediately see how frazzled I am? So frazzled I resort to phrases like “oh holy jello.”

Sometimes, in order to gear up for the major battles in life, it may be necessary to practice on your poor clueless spouse, and I’m afraid I let him have it. I just hope I can be as concise and convey the same level of outrage at our insurance company when I let them have it. In the meantime, my husband has apologized.

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  • Excellent point about treatments being experimental for cancer and THEY get paid for! I know I should battle the insurance company but they’re such JERKS! I hate calling them!

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