Financial Assistance

It's no secret that raising a child with autism can be expensive. Between doctor's appointments, therapy sessions, after school programs, etc., the costs can get very overwhelming for families affected by autism. The Autism Speaks Autism Response Team regularly receives calls from parents, other caregivers and professionals in desperate need of financial assistance.

In response to what we're hearing from our community, we've dedicated this month's Community Connections to helping point you in the right direction toward getting the help you need.

Government Financial Resources
A number of governmental financial resources may be available for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. These resources include Medicaid Home and Community Based Waivers, Social Security Income, and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Click here to read more about government financial resources.

Private or Non-Profit Organizations
Some organizations provide scholarships, family grants, and other types of funding specifically to individuals with autism to help pay for autism-related expenses. Although the numbers of these types of programs are limited, if you are willing to research and explore opportunities, you may be surprised by what you find. The Autism Family Services team recently updated two resource lists to help you find support and individual grants.

Families in Need
This list is located in the Family Services Resource Library and provides national opportunities

Family Grant Opportunities
This list is a category located in the Family Services Resource Guide and contains local and state-specific resources in your area. Click on your state, and search under the category "Family Grant Opportunities."

Click here to read tips from J-Jaye Hurley, a member of the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team and the mother of a son with autism, on Applying for Financial Aid for your Family Member with Autism

Health Insurance Reform
Private insurance companies typically do not cover autism therapies. In fact, most insurance companies designate autism as a diagnostic exclusion, meaning that no autism-specific services are covered.

Autism Votes, an initiative of Autism Speaks, is working to change state insurance laws to require private health insurance policies to cover autism treatments such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and other treatments for individuals with autism.

Click here to learn about the status of autism insurance reform in your state.

Click here to learn more about Health Insurance coverage for individuals with autism.

Visit www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy to learn about these state and federal initiatives, stay informed about autism insurance reform, and find and contact your local legislators so that you, too, can advocate for change!

Find A Local Resource! Visit our Resource Guide to find information about waivers and grant opportunities in your states, find local financial planners, and local autism organizations that may be able to point you toward more resources for financial assistance.