As a mom, I am petitioning my daughter’s health insurance company—and well as the oldest and largest HMO in California, AND the two other largest insurance companies in the state—to pay for diagnosis and treatment of learning differences.
My story began when Katie, our smart, beautiful and spirited teenager, was in first grade.
Her teachers told us that she could hear perfectly well… but she just didn’t listen.
Treated as a behavior problem for years, we now know, in fact, that our child was PHYSICALLY UNABLE to listen.
That’s because Katie suffers from Central Auditory Processing Disorder, also known as CAPD.
Recognized in the United Sates as a bona fide disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act, she hears fine, but her brain has a difficult time processing words and ideas.
In fact, an astounding SEVENTY PERCENT OF ALL PRISON INMATES IN THE U.S. have some sort of undiagnosed—so therefore, untreated—learning disability like CAPD.
There can be a genetic link to many of these learning differences. But CAPD is also common in children who suffered multiple ear infections at a young age or like Katie, were starved and lived in orphanages as babies. Katie was nine months old the day I brought her home from China.
CAPD is a physical impairment that affects learning and living, just like being deaf or blind affects learning and living. Sadly, children with undiagnosed CAPD often do very poorly in school, suffering from a profound sense of worthlessness; short term memory issues; an inability to take notes, and crippling anxiety over tests.
The good news is the CAPD can be successfully treated! With a trained education specialist working one-on-one with a child with an individualized program, along with special headphones, CDs and other auditory equipment, permanent improvement can often be seen within a few months!
The bad news is that most health insurance companies will not pay for a diagnosis and NONE cover education specialist treatment and equipment!
These costs can very quickly add up to several thousand dollars.
THIS MUST CHANGE.
Katie’s health insurance company is Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal will gladly pay for diagnosis and treatment for deaf and blind children, but refuses to cover ANY treatment for CAPD or ANY OTHER physical learning difference disability. The same is true of Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield California.
No child wants to fail school, and no child wants to not get along with his teacher.
But as long as physical learning disabilities like CAPD are not covered by health insurance, tens of thousands of children will remain undiagnosed and untreated… and classified in school as “problem children.”
That’s a recipe for disaster that, as demonstrated by prison statistics, can continue into adulthood.
Please sign my petition to make ALL health insurance companies pay for diagnosis and treatment for ALL children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and other learning differences.
Thank you for your support!