According recent figures, one out of every 68 children has autism, and it strikes boys at a rate five-times higher than girls.
Treating autism properly is costly. To pay for specialized education and developmental therapy services, families can spend $60,000 or more per year.
On Wednesday, David Boze welcomed Traci Schneider and her husband John, general manger of the Seahawks, to talk about their charity that helps families pay for the cost of caring for children with autism.
When their son, Ben, was 3, doctors diagnosed him with autism. Ben got 35 hours per-week of applied behavioral analysis therapy administered by a team of five specialists – plus, speech and occupational therapy outside the home.
The therapy paid off, and Ben eventually began attending a mainstream school. Realizing how much therapy costs, the Schneiders started Ben’s Fund in 2012 to help families get the financial support needed to provide proper autism treatment.
“Most insurance companies don’t cover autism care, and the state doesn’t have a program to cover autism care – people are paying out of pocket,” Traci Schneider told Boze. “I think part of the problem is that autism is considered a developmental disability, and with so many insurance companies, they don’t cover developmental disabilities.”