Monday, April 19, 2010

The Cost of Autism Therapy, The Price of Hope.

Ever the procrastinator, I left getting our tax paperwork together until this past Friday. For my friends south of the border, the tax deadline isn't until April 30th in Canada (my birthday - yay for me! happy effing birthday!). It isn't quite as simple as telling "the man" how much I made this past year and how much money they have already eeked out of my already small pay cheque. Now that we have kids there are daycare costs to submit. Now that we have a child with what is defined as a "disability" we have therapy costs to submit as well.

We spent $52,041 on Max's therapy in 2009. If that made you gasp, picture me breaking a sweat, feeling dizzy and lightheaded and trying to convince myself that the chest pains I was experiencing upon adding up the pile of invoices on my kitchen table were merely symptoms of an anxiety attack and not my heart giving out on me. The Canadian government (be it Federal or Provincial) did not contribute one dime to Max's Autism Therapy last year. Not one. His name will not reach the top of the wait list for funding until at the very earliest, summer of 2011. He will be over 5 years old at that point. In case you didn't know, the key window to treat children with Autism are the years between the ages of 2 and 5. Yes, once again, government at its finest.

At the very least, we have to come up with another $50,000 to $60,000 to get Max the therapy he will need in this next key year of his development. I have no idea where this money will come from. I have decided to cancel my trip to the BlogHer convention (what the hell was I thinking anyway? lol...), and I am hoping we get a decent tax return. I am planting money trees in our backyard. I am praying. I am contemplating how badly I really need both my kidneys. I am looking at my beautiful boy Max, knowing that I have to figure this out, because he is my everything and I will not sleep at night if he is not getting the therapy he needs to have the best chance at a wonderful life, when he needs it in these key early years. I will not fail my son, even when the Canadian Government, The Provincial Government, our Premier, and MPP have dropped the ball for all children and families suffering from Autism. It's too bad they seem to have zero foresight on how much it will cost to support these children when they are adults with Autism, unable to support themselves and requiring round the clock care for the duration of their lives. When will they ever learn. When will they ever learn.


  1. Oh, Kat. I can't even imagine the stress. It makes me cry angry, angry tears that you guys have to go through this. If I had $50,000 I would give it to you without a second thought! If we win the lottery you can expect a big cheque coming your way! Fingers crossed that the taxman is good to you.

  2. Over fifty grand in therapy sounds scary... Congratulations on being able to come up with that much money (while affording to eat on a daily basis), totally impressive.

    I so much wanted to go to blogher but didn't get my ticket on time, when I finally went to their website to buy it they were sold out. If you're not going for sure, any chances I can get your ticket and you can add that little money to Max's therapy pile?

  3. We all feel your pain, all of us stuck on the waiting list, booted out of IBI, or just not eligible when our kids need to be. Alanna is waiting just like Max and we're paying too.

  4. Anonymous7:08 p.m.

    Break my heart. You are such an amazing mother.

  5. Lets chain ourselves to Dalton McGuinty.

  6. Oh Kat. You are such an inspiration and amazing mother. I don't know how you do it but Max is very lucky to have you fighting in his corner. Thank you for giving me perspective as I try to figure out my own meager financial issues.

  7. Anonymous1:54 p.m.

    If there's a positive to all this, it's that nobody who read this will dare make fun of my rusting-out car when you come to our family birthday bash, right?


  8. Anonymous12:30 p.m.

    not a solution but it might help in the future... Have you heard of the RDSP?