Individuals on the autism spectrum disorder are likely to experience more mental as well as physical health issues that will need additional expenses to be incurred during the course of their life. The healthcare expenditure for such individuals and their families are vast. Therefore the need for financial assistance for Autistic child can be a big question for any parent to ask.
Parents of autistic children have to bear expenses relating to hospital stays, physician’s visits, outpatient costs, meeting with allied health professional, expenditure on drugs if needed as well as special supplies for some children. According to survey results young adults with autism, between the ages of 18 and 24, incurred greater healthcare expenditures when paying for hospital services than did children under 18. Other healthcare expenses will continue to vary during the course of the individual’s life.
The cost of raising a child with Autism
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates healthcare costs for individuals with ASD based on different categories. The average cost per person with ASD who utilises public hospital services is estimated at $ 2,072 with total costs for low prevalence individuals resting at $75,051 and high prevalence patients at $127,119. The same for those who avail private hospital services the cost rests at $665 individually. Total costs for all low prevalence individuals using private hospital services is at $24,107 and for high prevalence patients at $40,832.
For every individual who avails ambulance and other services, the cost rests at $75 with total costs for low prevalence patients amounting to $167 and for high prevalence patients at $282. Medical services provided for every person with ASD can come to $3,219 with totals for low prevalence individuals coming to $189,626 and high prevalence patients to $321,182.
Services that involve other health practitioners can be estimated at $765 for every person with ASD with totals coming to $49,031 for low prevalence individuals and $83,048 for high prevalence persons. The cost of medications purchased individually can come to $5,557 for each person with ASD while totals for low prevalence patients will rest at $382,967 and for high prevalence patients at $648,658. All in all, the average healthcare cost per person with ASD will come to 12,722 with a total cost for low prevalence patients at 764,918 and for high prevalence patients at $1,265,106.
ASD sufferers and their families will also face expenses incurred by the use of social services such as residential accommodation, employment support, community access services and respite for families. For those who need help with daily living skills, additional personal care services may also be required. In Australia these services are funded by The Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) and individuals on the spectrum will need to meet certain criteria to qualify for receiving these services.
Based on 2005-6 figures the CSTDA cost estimates for people with ASD reflect the following results; accommodation support provided for ASD individuals came to $83,071, community support expenses rested at $20,445 and community access at $20,351. Respite services provided by the CSTDA rested at $9,918 with employment services claiming $17,745. Advocacy, info and print disability incurred annual costs of $2,023 with other support services claiming another $4,445. The total amount spent on CSTDA services for ASD individuals came to $157,999.
Financial assistance for autistic child
Autism is a lifelong condition in which parents will require to bare the cost of care and treatment. Unfortunately the options in Australia for financial assistance is limited. Many parents seek financial assistance through Centerlink in the disability allowance. Though there are a few non-profit organisations that provide support, many if not all of them do not provide financial support. Other parents source financial assistance through their superannuation or by fundraising for their medical expenses.
Parents can seek assistance in creating an online fundraiser with PeoplePledge. This is a free medical fundraising site that provides parents the ability to start and run and fundraiser within minutes. Parents can then share their fundraiser with friends, family and extended networks via Facebook and email to raise thousands of dollars. The platform also works well with additional fundraising events within the community. Many successful fundraisers have had dinners, movie nights and other creative fundraising ideas to boost their online fundraiser. This has helped in providing financial assistance for an Autistic child.