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The Benefits of Alternative Therapies Versus the Out of Pocket Costs
 

Healing Heart

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Without question alternative therapies have made a tremendous difference in our son’s life.  We currently now do eight therapies that are considered “alternative” and as such are not funded by insurance.  This leaves us, like many families, with tremendous therapy costs each month.  I am finding that because of this fact, many families are feeling discouraged from exploring alternative therapies as an option for their child, even after exhausting fundraising efforts.

Do you participate in alternative therapies with your child?
Does the cost of these therapies detour you in exploring these alternative modalities of therapy?
If there was insurance funding or full grants would you be more likely to explore alternative therapies with your child?

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10 October 2014 10:42 PM # 1

AlwaysRunning

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Can you tell me what the 8 therapies are and a little bit more about them?

10 October 2014 11:13 PM # 2

Healing Heart

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Feldenkrais
ABM
MNRI
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Acupuncture
Hippotherapy
Warm Water Therapy
Conductive Education

Feldenkrais and ABM are really similar.  Mostly known as the Anat Baniel Method.  A neuromovement therapy that assists with gentle manipulations of the body to assist the brain in learning new ways of moving.
MRNI is a reflex therapy: http://masgutovamethod.com/about-the-method
Cranial Sacral Therapy (also known as craniosacral therapy) is a gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain.
Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions
Hippotherapy is the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength.
Warm Water Therapy is therapy done in the water with temperatures between 91-93 degrees to allow for easier movement
Conductive Education is an intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges

Hope that helps a little, happy to assist with any questions you might have on any of them.

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12 October 2014 02:17 PM # 3

AlwaysRunning

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I’m off to have a google - I had heard of Anat Baniel but not the two other names they are known as. Conductive Education is here in the UK but very difficult to access.

I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions!

13 October 2014 08:43 PM # 4

Yollypanda

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Wow, that must get expensive! Our daughter gets horse riding & hydrotherapy at school (in the UK) also a conductive education approach. But would love to try more but as you say, it can leave you out of pocket! Although if it’s beneficial it’s hard to put a price on it.

13 October 2014 11:26 PM # 5

Healing Heart

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AlwaysRunning - 12 October 2014 02:17 PM

I’m off to have a google - I had heard of Anat Baniel but not the two other names they are known as. Conductive Education is here in the UK but very difficult to access.

I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions!

Happy to help with any questions anytime ;)

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13 October 2014 11:29 PM # 6

Healing Heart

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Yollypanda - 13 October 2014 08:43 PM

Wow, that must get expensive! Our daughter gets horse riding & hydrotherapy at school (in the UK) also a conductive education approach. But would love to try more but as you say, it can leave you out of pocket! Although if it’s beneficial it’s hard to put a price on it.

It is insanely expensive - in fact without fundraising and endlessly searching out grants and foundations I’m not sure how we’ve even gotten as far as we have.  We’re at a point now where help is like finding a needle in a haystack where I’ve used all the resources I can find, I hope we won’t find ourselves in a position where we have to make choices on eliminating therapies that are working, which very well could be where we are at.  I wish more than anything that insurance would financially assist with all of these therapies.  They’ve made a huge difference.  There are still things we dream of doing like camps and intensives, but there is no way that I’ll ever have $5000-$9000 to attend.  There is even Dolphin Therapy that I’d love to try, but can’t seem to afford that either :(

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17 October 2014 03:01 AM # 7

Dropofsunshine

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With the mount of therapy my daughter is already in (out patient water therapy, OT and PT as well as school provided OT, PT, and speech, and soon to start ABA home therapy) I am not sure where we would fit anything else into our schedule.  Right now everything is covered by insurance.  If we want to continue water therapy after the first of the year we will probably have to pay out of pocket for that but with the ABA therapy starting with 10-20 hours of therapy per week we will probably let that go for now.  I would truly love to get my daughter into hippotherapy, music therapy, and more water therapy but it is more of a time issue than a money issue.  I am reaching the point, after 4 years of non stop doctoring and therapies, that I just want to be with my girl.  No more appointments, no more doctors, no more therapies, no more pushing.  I don’t want to miss who she is, just as she is right this minute because I’m never going to get this minute back.  Yes, I am ecstatic to see her responding and making progress but I also do not want her or I to get burned out either.  It is definitely a delicate balance.

17 October 2014 03:39 AM # 8

Healing Heart

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Dropofsunshine - 17 October 2014 03:01 AM

With the mount of therapy my daughter is already in (out patient water therapy, OT and PT as well as school provided OT, PT, and speech, and soon to start ABA home therapy) I am not sure where we would fit anything else into our schedule.  Right now everything is covered by insurance.  If we want to continue water therapy after the first of the year we will probably have to pay out of pocket for that but with the ABA therapy starting with 10-20 hours of therapy per week we will probably let that go for now.  I would truly love to get my daughter into hippotherapy, music therapy, and more water therapy but it is more of a time issue than a money issue.  I am reaching the point, after 4 years of non stop doctoring and therapies, that I just want to be with my girl.  No more appointments, no more doctors, no more therapies, no more pushing.  I don’t want to miss who she is, just as she is right this minute because I’m never going to get this minute back.  Yes, I am ecstatic to see her responding and making progress but I also do not want her or I to get burned out either.  It is definitely a delicate balance.

I loved this article about the exact thing you are talking about - I think in a lot of ways we’re exhausted as parents, and sometimes we just want those normal childhood moments that aren’t filled with constant therapies and appointments.  It is a tough balance but I loved what this article had to say, you might too if you haven’t already seen it:
http://www.articles.complexchild.com/june2014/00554.pdf

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17 October 2014 01:31 PM # 9

Dropofsunshine

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Great article!  We actually took the school year off last year for many of these exact reasons.  Our daughter had multiple surgeries and illnesses last year and we were completely exhausted.  I couldn’t even fathom dealing with school come fall.  It was the best decision we ever made.  This year we were able to start fresh and full of energy.  Lily has regained her strength and was ready for the new challenges after our extended rest.

18 October 2014 03:23 PM # 10

Healing Heart

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Dropofsunshine - 17 October 2014 01:31 PM

Great article!  We actually took the school year off last year for many of these exact reasons.  Our daughter had multiple surgeries and illnesses last year and we were completely exhausted.  I couldn’t even fathom dealing with school come fall.  It was the best decision we ever made.  This year we were able to start fresh and full of energy.  Lily has regained her strength and was ready for the new challenges after our extended rest.

I think rests are essential, whether that means you go back to something or re-evaluate to discontinue something altogether.  It’s an exhausting routine to constantly be going and going - and we still try hard to balance a childhood.  As he’s a little boy before all else.  I think that’s why we enjoy so many alternative therapies - many of them don’t feel like therapy.  They feel fun.  But sometimes I still enjoy holidays or weeks off from therapies. Or taking a summer off.  We can only do so much before we need a time-out.

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04 November 2014 04:14 PM # 11

Buttercup

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We fundraise for ABM and would do Feldenkrais if we had anyone nearby. I’m planning on doing the Feldenkrais training in a few years.

We have Emmett Technique, yoga, we have own own ponies so hippotherapy and riding isn’t extra for us. I’m getting advice from a behavioural optometrist.

We HAVE to do these things, I can’t not. We would like to go more often for ABM but it’s difficult for my husband at work. He uses his holidays because parental leave is without pay but we are having to do that anyway next week when we go to London.

If it wasn’t for fundraising it would be much, much harder to do.

08 January 2015 09:40 AM # 12

sbain

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HI All - it seems like we are really lucky. We currently do hydrotherapy (but this is funded by the NHS and I don’t really see it as alternative), conductive education (but this is provided by a charity - for anyone in London they are called small steps and I can’t recommend them highly enough) and Snowdrop (which is a neurodevlopmental program in Devon - which costs). We’re hoping to begin footsteps in Oxford next summer (2016) - does anyone have any experience of them? 

I’d really love to start hippotherapy - does anyone know of somewhere near London (ideally SE London but obviously we can travel a bit) that provides hippotherapy for younger children (my son is 2.5)?

05 February 2015 02:28 AM # 13

Healing Heart

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sbain - 08 January 2015 09:40 AM

HI All - it seems like we are really lucky. We currently do hydrotherapy (but this is funded by the NHS and I don’t really see it as alternative), conductive education (but this is provided by a charity - for anyone in London they are called small steps and I can’t recommend them highly enough) and Snowdrop (which is a neurodevlopmental program in Devon - which costs). We’re hoping to begin footsteps in Oxford next summer (2016) - does anyone have any experience of them? 

I’d really love to start hippotherapy - does anyone know of somewhere near London (ideally SE London but obviously we can travel a bit) that provides hippotherapy for younger children (my son is 2.5)?

I am not sure about hippotherapy in our area, but I really liked a program that I read about in Northern Ireland that does Donkey Therapy.  Wish we had donkey therapy out here, would be easier to mount for children who had spastic/high tone I think.

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