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The Cost Of Raising A Child With Special Needs

By October 9, 2021October 18th, 2022No Comments3 min read

The cost of raising a child with Special Needs is something society does not really address. Raising a child with a mental disability in Kenya is very expensive. Children with these disabilities need a lot of all-around care that involves intervention by professionals.

Some of the necessities that make it expensive involve;

  1. Medical Care

Medical care is a broad term that we will use to refer to the acquisition of drugs, tests conducted in hospitals, MRI, CT scans, and more. These are without doubt expensive. Some parents are faced with the dilemma of purchasing food or medicines for their children because they cannot afford both.

  1. Therapy

Therapy is important for these children as it helps improve the health and overall wellbeing of the child. If your child has been diagnosed with Autism, some of the top therapies to consider include; Behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Now, one hour of any of the therapy mentioned above is at least KES 3,000 (USD 30). Assuming that a child needs the four therapies mentioned, that equals KES 12,000 (USD 120) per week. Do the math and see what one month of therapy will cost.

This does not includde the medical care discussed at the beginning of this article. We have families that live below a dollar a day. Some of these families have individuals living with these disabilities and in need of therapy.  Is it really affordable?

According to Dr. Jane Muiruri, even some of the richest people in the country cannot afford therapy.  We have compiled a list of institutions that offer physiotherapy for less than KES 500 (5 USD). We hope this helps for starters.

A parent explaining the cost of raising a Special Needs Child

3. Employment

Raising a child with a mental disability requires one to have the most understanding employer they can get. Parents will need constant leave days to take their children to therapy, dealing with meltdowns, hospital visits due to health issues that arise due to the disability is expected. 

Unfortunately, most corporates and government institutions are firing mothers for having children with mental disabilities. They will get you for absconding work, bad grading, non-performance, and more.  

It is important for employers to find a middle ground that allows parents of children with these disabilities to stay employed as well as be there for their children. 

  1. Stigma

Most of the stigma will arise from the cultural biases and discrimination that exists in society.

Discrimination in the church is common because most people idolize the idea of having a perfect child. Churches do not accommodate or welcome families of and individuals with disabilities. Fortunately, advocacy has been included in the church, and changes are being made.  

These are just but a few of what really makes it expensive to raise a child with Special Needs. Are you a parent that is raising a child with a disability?

What are the highs and lows of raising your child?

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