Raising any child, particularly one with special needs involves substantial financial costs.
Hence, a little planning is necessary. We offer some insight on the costs of raising a special needs child.
Special Needs Planning: Why Prepare For The Financial Costs of Raising A Special Needs Child
The cost of raising any child can be astronomical. At its lowest, it’s about $200 000. It nears a million dollars if extensive. As you may expect, the costs of raising a special needs child would be closer to the latter.
Consider health care. A child with unique needs would require regular doctors’ visits and therapy. The costs of treatment are substantial.
Education matters too. Every child needs uniforms and books. Aside from these, a child with special needs would require cognitive or behavioural therapy.
Then, there is long-term care. Parents have to prepare for the eventuality that their children will need financial assistance after their deaths. They would have to set up a nest egg for this purpose.
The Financial Costs Of Raising a Special Needs Child
The costs of raising a special needs child depend on his disability and its severity. Autism Speaks, an advocacy group that raises awareness of the disorder, estimates that it can cost about 1.4 million.
First of all, health care costs may take their toll because of under-insurance. A special needs child requires more medication than one without disabilities. Medicine, nursing care and therapy are all expensive. There are times when costly visits to a medical care centre or hospital are necessary.
Medisave or insurance providers don’t always cover these costs, which makes them unusually heavy. Families can spend up to $1000 a month on medication.
2. Specialized equipment
Also, specialised equipment is often needed, and this, of course, is costly. Wheelchairs, mobility aids and other assisted living add to a special needs family’s financial burden.
3. Everyday costs of raising a special needs child
Furthermore, routine expenses are high. Home modifications take a lot out of a family’s budget. Having to use medical equipment means higher utility bills. A special needs family can pay up to two or three times a regular family would for electricity.
4. Lower employment income
Underemployment is a harsh reality for a person with disabilities. He would have to choose jobs with flexible working hours and in organisations that are willing to make modifications for a person with such needs. These are few and far between.
Parents themselves may miss work to attend to their special needs children. That decreases their productivity and makes them unemployable to bosses.
In all, the costs of raising a special needs child are substantial, but manageable with a little know how. We will explain these in the next article.