Fun times with autism treatment options

So just before Christmas, Liam was officially diagnosed with Autism. We’ve kind of been operating under that assumption for quite some time now, so this is not really big news. The only reason I pursued  an official diagnosis for him was because I’m a bit underwhelmed with the services provided by Liam’s school district and I want to start getting serious about his therapies and treatment. This has proved to be far more difficult than I imagined. I thought that once I had the diagnosis, I’d have a handful of names to call, appointments set up within the week and the ball rolling on multiple treatments for my son. What I didn’t count on was two full pages of phone numbers to choose from and no one calling me back. It seems that everywhere that provides any kind of autism-related treatment has waiting lists out the wazoo and costs roughly YOUR SOUL. I knew treatment was not going to be cheap, but no one is even willing to discuss it with me. Even the psychologist we saw up at the Dept of Health dismissed me when I asked about private speech therapy for Liam. “It’s really expensive.” I’m not sure how I got “welfare mother” stamped on my forehead, but all of a sudden, I’m Julia Roberts in that snooty store on Rodeo Drive. People, just tell me what your damn services cost. I’ll worry about whether or not I have the money to pay for it. I’d love to get all gussied up, waltz into their offices and say, “You made a big mistake. HUGE” and walk out, but more than likely, I’ll have to bury my rage and my pride and suck up to some people. THANK them profusely for calling me back after several weeks because, you know, THEY’RE DOING ME A FAVOR.

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5 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    It’s amazing what hoops you have to jump through to get help for your child. It *seems* like there are a lot of resources out there. Until you try to access them.

  2. Colleen says:

    I know it’s a way to go for you, but we absolutely love Kids on the Move in Orem. We have worked with them for some of Lottie’s treatments and they were great. Also, they have parent education classes that are free and very helpful to teach you how to get the best care for your child. Good luck!

    • Shauna says:

      Colleen, I’ve actually considered calling Kids on the Move. Bobbie’s had a great experience with them as well. If I don’t get anywhere with the places up here, I’ll definitely call them. What sort of treatments is Lottie getting? I didn’t realize she was in any special programs.

  3. Karin says:

    Have you tried the Utah Parent Center yet? They are a clearinghouse of available resources. Oh yeah, even as I type this, I seem to remember that you already get their newsletter. The vendors at their conferences are always a great way to find resources. Also one of the programs that I have really been looking at for Belen is and it’s more expensive counterpart Both are located in Utah and I have heard some amazing things from them.

  4. Kristi says:

    It doesn’t help, but it’s the same for kids at the other end of the spectrum. No one responds to emails or voicemails. It took 6 months for me to get an appointment for testing and we still missed the date because they didn’t call back. You have a more difficult time than I do with it, but lack of competent resources seems to be equal all around. Ps-you’re my inspiration for even fighting for my kid, btw, so thanks!

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