Other Information

Medical Aid

Autism does not fall under the mental health benefits of the medical aids and medication does not fall under Chronic.

Pathology (Blood Tests) – Unlimited in hospital but subjected to your day-to-day benefits under general on Medical Aids

Stool Samples – Not covered, providing the procedure can be linked under the correct codes, your medical aid will not pay for this even if you do have benefits.

Audiology, Dietetics, Genetic Counselling, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy – is subjected to Day-to-day benefits

Specialized Radiology – CT scans and MRI, could be subjected to an annual overall limit per family.

If your child is also diagnosed with another condition and it is a chronic condition (like Epilepsy, Schizophrenia and Bio-polar), that will be covered under the PMB program.

However, depending on the route you take (Normal GP/Specialist or Alternative medicine or Integrative medicine) for your child’s health and care; depending on the symptoms you see there are many other tests that can be done:

Common health issues

These health issues are commonly noted amongst Autistics, but are not exclusive to Autistics:

Gut Issues

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Reflux
  • Improper food absorption
  • Dysbiosis of the gut (due to bacteria and yeast issues)
  • Nutritional problems (including improper protein absorption) (See MTHFR series)
  • Food opioids (this is the need for a gluten/casein free GFCF diet!)
  • Gastritis
  • Leaky gut
  • Omega 3 deficiency

Brain & Blood Disorders

Finances

By now you have come to realised that treatments and therapies are not cheap.

SASSA – You will have to go and see a official at your local SASSA office to complete the forms to register your child for a Care Dependency Grant. The current amount is R1700.00.

For your child to qualify for a grant:

  • your child must either see a doctor at Tygerberg or Red Cross hospital. Because SASSA is government supported, the diagnoses must come from a doctor at a state-owned facility.
  • the applicant must be South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee;
  • the applicant and child must be resident in South Africa;
  • child must be under the age of 18 years;
  • must submit a medical / assessment report confirming permanent, severe  disability;
  • the applicant and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test (except  for foster parents);
  • the care-dependent child/children must not be permanently cared for in a State Institution.

Application for SASSA or renewal of SASSA can also be done when you child attends a government subsidised special needs school.

SARS – You will have to go see an offical at your local SARS office to complete the forms to enable you to claim back for certain expenses related to transport, medical and treatment for your child’s Autism. Some people have expressed their disappointment regarding claiming back from SARS as the hoops (the GAF-score) you have to jump through is too many. But you can:

GAF-score: The score is use to determine the severity of the disability. The method was developed after the Vietman War to test ex-servicemen mental health. The GAF-Score was done away with last year and most agencies uses the DMS-5. Your child’s score must be at least below 60.

Other Government Programmes

Western Cape Government – Persons with Disabilities Programme

What do they do: “The Department of Social Development (DSD) provides services to people with disabilities, their families and/ or caregivers, and the communities in which they live.

What services they have:

  • Residential care services facilities
  • Protective workshop services
  • Day care centres (for both children and adults)

Including Social Work Services

The Departments vision is “creation of a free and just society inclusive of all persons with disabilities as equal citizens”.

Through this vision the Department focus on:

1. ECD (Early Childhood Development) & Disability

2. VEP (Victim Empowerment Programme) & Disability

Click on the link to follow to the page, further links to the various services is available on the page

FUNDING – For the average household with two working parents it seems impossible to get the money together to pay for everything. For single parent families it is even worse as the grant from SASSA is not much and you don’t always get refunded for everything you listed for SARS.

So what to do?

Many parents have started Trusts or even NPOs (No-Profit Organisations) to help with the day-to-day expenses. They have regular fundraisers or high teas for family and friends. If you are lucky, you can get some-one to sponsor the printing of t-shirts, caps and water bottles.

For those interested in starting an NPO, here is some more info:

  1. Model Constitution
  2.  Application for NPC Company registration
  3. Application for NPO
  4. Frequently asked questions

Workplaces:

If you know of any companies or organisations that will employ people on the Spectrum, please leave a comment below.

You can also follow the link to Autism Western Cape’s website for a list.