Autism. Chasing funding
The government gives $6,000 per year to any child aged 0-7 with a diagnosis of autism. So, in theory, that's $42,000 per child towards early intervention.
Oh, except that no-one will diagnose a child with autism before the age of 3. So that's $24,000 per child towards early intervention.
Oh, and now the funding goes until they turn 6 or start school full-time. So that's potentially only $12,000 towards early intervention, if the kid gets the diagnosis as early as possible, at age 3 and starts school at age 5.
Right now, I'm in discussions with the funding administrator to try to keep Bright Eyes' funding for the year that he is 6, starting mid-August. I was asked to get a letter from the school stating that he is attending part time, which I did, but apparently it's too vague.
"We'll ring closer to August to talk to the school," they told me today.
"I would really appreciate knowing the outcome now, so I can start getting money together to pay for his RDI if I need to," I replied.
"Yes, but circumstances do change," she said.
"Look, this kid is not just going to suddenly get cured in two months," I said. "Things don't change that suddenly with ASD."
Coming off the phone to these funding people makes me feel sad, annoyed, and powerless. I feel like I'm fighting a machine sometimes. I wish it was more personal. And I hate being assertive and asking people to ring back and try harder and do things now instead of later. It's draining. BUT, at the same time, I am grateful for the money, so it's a bit of a catch-22.