Monday, September 21, 2009

Shame on them!

One of the most frustrating things about having children with Autism is having to constantly fight for things they need. You have to fight with school districts - you better hope you know your rights because they aren't going to give you a piece of paper titled: "Things we have to provide for your child" - and you have to fight with insurance companies - most of the time I swear they are just trying to give you the run-around long enough that you just give up.

My most recent fight has been raging on for over a year now. My son uses a speech generating device (SGD) to talk for him since he can't. He can say a few words but even those are unclear to most people who aren't around him all the time. In general, he needs the device to communicate his basic needs and wants effectively. We were able to convince our school district to purchase one for him to use but they own it. This means if we ever leave the district the device doesn't go with us. We were advised by Will's speech therapist to obtain his own speech device through our insurance company since we are unsure of how long Will might require this assistance. And thus began the fight.

Appeal after appeal has been denied but the most recent refusal was the most hurtful. In this denial letter the insurance company actually states: "Devices such as this would not qualify as Durable Medical Equipment as they could be used by anyone in the family much like a blood pressure cuff." A blood pressure cuff? Are they kidding me? Have they even taken the time to research what exactly this device does? It is a relatively small device with a touchscreen with picture icons on it. You touch a picture and it speaks for you. Will's SGD would be of no use to anyone except him. I'm pretty sure I don't need to touch a picture of a toilet to have a machine say: "I need to use the bathroom." This letter was both ignorant and insulting. How dare they make light of the fact that my son needs a machine to speak for him. Shame on them!

No comments:

Post a Comment