Interviewer: It has been very hard for you to find therapy for your child who was diagnosed with autism. Can you talk about the challenges?
Halimah: My child could really benefit from a special school, but it is difficult to find one where we live.
Halimah: Often, I have to explain my child’s condition to his teachers at his school so that they don’t think he is a stubborn child.
Halimah: Therapy was prescribed, as part of his treatment, but it is twice-a-week and very far from where we live. We moved to another area and it was not possible for me to go that far to bring him.
Halimah: The emotional and financial stress of providing him with the care that he needs have lead to my own challenges with mental health. Currently, I am being treated for depression, but it is hard to afford my psychiatric treatment. Luckily, the psychiatrist gave me discounts.
Halimah: But, I still have mounting medical bills and a hard time finding the care my child needs.
EVIDENCE & RESEARCH
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association for America, “More than one in five Americans today are caregivers, providing care and support to an adult or child with special needs. That is 21.3 percent of the population caring for someone in some way, somewhere across the nation. And in that population of family caregivers, four in 10 – roughly 38 percent – find their situation extremely stressful. We all experience stress in our lives, but going beyond stress, according to Caregiver.org, which has called caregiver depression an all-too silent health crisis, 20 percent of family caregivers suffer from depression. To put that into perspective, that is twice the rate of the general population reporting depressive disorders. “
Barriers to Public Health: Financial Barrier, Location/Access Barrier, Medical Care Professional Shortage