Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Missing ABA therapy

Now that Andy has been in school for almost four weeks, I am missing all the good things the ABA
therapists were working on with Andy. I visited Andy's classroom, and got to see him going to music class. I also got to see him in circle time and snack time. The classroom, and going to specials like music and art, seem so good for Andy. The experiences seem very enriching for him. But I also miss his ABA therapists.

They were so good at what they did. They analyzed his behaviors and worked hard on how to change them for the better. They were starting to understand Andy, and beginning to really shape him. I took him out of ABA therapy for two reasons. My insurance company was rejecting all claims, which was scary, and school was starting.

I was told I needed to leave Andy in all-or-nothing ABA therapy. They wouldn't agree to 12-15 hours a week. I was told it wouldn't be enough to make a difference for him, and that he needed the full 25 hours a week. This therapy is very costly, and our current Blue Cross Blue Shield plan is rejecting all ABA therapy claims. They say we have no Autism benefit and they do not fall under the mandate to pay for Autism claims. We are searching for a new policy now.

I wanted Andy to start school and see his classmates again. I wanted him to see his therapists, and have the benefits of gym class, music class and art class. All the different experiences seem to be so exciting for him. When I went to observe him for a couple hours, I did see him crying quite a bit, but I also saw him having great experiences too.

If we can get an insurance policy that has an Autism benefit, I'd like him to receive ABA therapy, and go to school maybe 2-3 days a week. I think this would be a good balance for him. The next step will be finding a place that will agree to do this. If he has to have 25 hours a week, this will leave no time for school activities.

The ABA therapists were making such good progress with Andy. At his school, I'm not sure how much progress they will make in him. It is hard to tell right now, if I am making a mistake by valuing the school program so much. His doctor told me that is a big mistake to take him out of ABA therapy, but that she doesn't want us to go bankrupt trying to pay for it.

All we can do is try to secure a new policy and continue to move forward. I'm hoping that soon we will find Andy the balance he needs to progress. This is a tough choice.

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