Many families hope that medical insurance coverage will reimburse them for outside academic support for children with learning disabilities. Study skills, remedial help and homework support is often necessary for this population of learners, and it can come at a steep cost. Although these services should be provided by school districts, you will find most have limited resources and one to one assistance is virtually impossible. Insurance companies accommodate psychological services, but because learning specialists, educational therapists, and tutors are usually trained in education, they don’t have the needed licensing credentials and codes for insurance companies to pay the bill.
How Can I Afford the Costs of Outside Help?
Before disregarding this option, there is good news. According to IRS publication 502, under the heading Special Education, with a doctor’s note, parents can use medical expense accounts to pay these bills. In addition, you can “write off” these costs if the teacher is trained to work with learning disabilities. In fact, you can even be granted compensation for your child to attend a school where the reason is overcoming a learning disability. Finally, check with your employer to see if they offer other options. Some large companies, such as IBM, offer financial compensation when an employee's family member need these types of services.
How Do I Find the Right Service Provider?
First, pursue a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment that provides a diagnosis and a comprehensive report that presents the cognitive weaknesses associated with the learning disability. Second, find a local, highly-trained tutor, learning specialist or educational therapist that can offer the best services. Be sure to interview and meet potential providers, so that you can find the best fit for your child.
Early intervention and support is key for students with learning disabilities. In fact, young learners receive the right help and support, some deficit areas can be remediated. In addition, children can also develop compensatory learning strategies as well as self advocacy skills that will help them to realize their highest potential.
Dr. Erica Warren, Learning Specialist and Educational Therapist
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz