"We Battle Constantly Over Our Autistic Child"

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His Turn

"I can't talk to Randi anymore," said Brett, 41. "She does nothing but worry, every day, all day. When I try to reassure her, I get my head handed to me because she thinks I don't take her concerns seriously. Every conversation is like opening Pandora's box.

"I know Randi shoulders much of the burden for Max's care but it's not like I'm out on the golf course while she's killing herself. I'm working my tail off. I'd like to be able to take Max to his appointments, but if a client calls just as I'm leaving, I can't say, 'Sorry, I'll get back to you.' That client is paying me a lot of money so we can afford all this therapy in the first place. But Randi makes me feel guilty when I don't come.

"Right now we're spending between $35,000 and $40,000 a year on Max's care, and here in Colorado, health insurance covers very little of it. A playgroup with five other kids costs $60 an hour! I've read everything I can get my hands on about autism -- if you're not on top of the legal and educational stuff, you'll go under. I'm scared to death that one day I'll run out of money and not be able to provide my son with the therapy he needs. Some days I feel as if I'm going to pass out from all the stress. That's why I want to weigh the options carefully and make absolutely sure that we're not just throwing money at some half-baked 'cure' that isn't going to help."

Continued on page 4:  His Turn, Continued


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