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Guest blog: How much does it all cost

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

Our guest gives us a financial breakdown (based on US $)

What Kinds of Costs Could You Accrue When Your Child is Diagnosed with a Disability?

By B. Burguess

Guest Blog for

A child’s disability diagnosis can bring with it daunting new information and terminologies for parents to learn and understand. Some of these have to do with the necessary equipment, tools, and treatments their child will need. As a rule, the tools that serve individuals with disabilities can be broken up into home or vehicle modifications, medications, medical procedures and surgeries, equipment and technology, professional aids, and other financial considerations.

In order to give parents a better idea of what to expect, we’ve broken these categories into specific types of products and discussed the details of them below. We strive to provide information on the types of expenditures necessary as well as the costs of these expenditures. For more info on these specific costs, view our full Cost Guide here.

Home/Vehicle Modifications

Any change to the home or car that helps people with disabilities live more simply and comfortably is called a modification. Some examples of home/vehicle modifications include:

  1. Door widening or full threshold doorways

  2. Motion detectors for lights

  3. Remote controls for doorbells, heating, and cooling

  4. Removal of steps

  5. Bathroom remodel for ramps and wheelchair space


Individuals with disabilities may be prescribed certain medications to help control symptoms or achieve more comfort. These could include:

  1. Muscle relaxants

  2. Anti-inflammatory medications

  3. Antidepressants

  4. Anticholinergic medications

  5. Anticonvulsant medications

Surgeries and Medical Procedures

Surgeries and medical procedures may be necessary or desired to improve an individual’s quality of life or general health. Such medical needs could include:

  1. Orthopedic surgery

  2. Gastroenterology surgery

  3. Pulmonary surgery

  4. Hearing and vision correction surgery

  5. Neurosurgery

Equipment and Technology

Any type of object or system that promotes greater independence in people with disabilities is called assistive technology. Adaptive equipment is a term used to refer to a technology designed specifically for people with disabilities: things people without disabilities rarely use. Types of assistive technology and adaptive equipment include tools for:

  1. Eating: Utensils that are weighted, wrist cuffs to attach utensils to the wrist.

  2. Vision and hearing assistance: Cochlear implants, hearing aids, glasses.

  3. Mobility: Crutches, wheelchairs, gait trainers.

  4. Personal care: Long-handled hair brushes, toothpaste tube squeezers.

  5. Safety: Shower railings, emergency response buttons.

  6. Writing, communicating, and computing: Keyboards with large keys, talk-to-text technology.

  7. Resting, sitting, and standing: Stationary stander supports, bed positioning systems.

Support Workers

Children and adults with cerebral palsy often may require in-home caretakers, appointments with experts, and support from other doctors and specialists. Compensating these people can make up a large portion of the expenses associated with caring for an individual who has cerebral palsy. Some of the people you may end up paying for support services include:

  1. Educators

  2. Dieticians

  3. In-home caretakers

  4. Therapists

Other Costs

It’s important to consider and plan for a few costs outside of the basic treatments for individuals with disabilities. These have more to do with making simple daily tasks easier for those with disabilities or preserving the lives of parents and caregivers. These include:

  1. Loss of wages or caregiver considerations

  2. Psychological care for caregivers

  3. Sensory-friendly clothing and other items

  4. Service dogs


B. Burguess is a mother and writer from Michigan, who focuses on pregnancy, parenting, and children with disabilities. She writes for The HIE Help Center, a website that offers information and supportive resources for families of children with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).


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