Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome to Kentucky

I have always thought that Kentucky was a beautiful place to live. The amount of green fields, forest, and streams are breath takingly gorgeous. Daniel Boone had once said that a squirrel could cross the entire state and never touch the ground due to the amount of trees. Fall truly shows off the beauty of the state with her colors, and this place in which I grew up turns in an enchanted forest.

Winter she takes a break from all her flashiness to be revived in spring with a burst of freshness to show off her tulips, grape hyacinths, and dogwoods. The Derby Festival begins and we show off the thoroughbred colts, those majestic animals that show our spirit. We start off the celebration with the worlds largest firework display, one that cost over $1 million. Our hometown corporations ban together and sponsor the event so that it just gets bigger and better every year. The ladies wear their grand hats while sipping mint julep's. The gentlemen sipping their bourbon. Both exhibiting our southern hospitality to visitors from far and wide.

I have lived here for 35 years and have always loved it and it had never really occurred to me that what I loved were the aesthetics not the underbelly of the beast. The deep parts of the good ol' boy politics that you don't get to see the ugliness of unless you need it on your side. As I sat with an agent that informed me that Connor was probably not severe enough for insurance to cover ABA, I was shocked. Well I was several things all at once; happy someone would say he wasn't severe enough for anything, enraged that there had to be a severity level for a proven treatment, and desperate that I might have reached another dead end.

"This is a last resort type thing. For those who are uncontrollable, the insurance wants to make sure you have tried everything else first." she informs me. He had showed too much cuteness, he didn't stay hidden or run and scream at the sound of her voice, he didn't lay in the floor crying and throwing a tantrum. I didn't look distraught or tired enough. He dared to look her in the eyes and smile at her! Grrr....Shape up and act like you have autism Connor!

I take a deep breath trying to grab a thought and wrestle it down. "So where are all the non last resort programs?" I ask. She looks at me with sad eyes and says "We are decades behind on autism treatments and the ABA around here is the watered down version. Their are no other programs to get you the treatment other then private funding. This is only in place for the time being because we can not get the state autism bill through yet."

I look at her in disbelief and shock and she replies, "Welcome to Kentucky."


Michelle O'Neil said...

And unfortunately much of hte country is no different.

Love how you contrast your love of the state to the reality of it as well.

Jeni said...

Tell her - and the slow-moving politicians all to "Kiss My GRITS!"
So far, here in Pennsylvania - or at least in the part of this lovely state where we live - we've been very fortunate with respect to therapy as well as the preschool program Maya will attend for the next two years and all at now cost to my daughter and son-in-law too. I keep waiting though for the "other shoe to fall" syndrome that I fear will eventually kick in. I hope not, but you know how politics goes - nothing dependable there I do believe in any of the states no with the feds either. Maybe it's time for you to get yourself some "advocacy boots" to wear?

Suzy said...

Wow. Maybe she should work for the State Visitor's Bureau. Some advocate.

Yep, Kentucky Derby with all the wealthy and no problems. Must be nice....

I agree with Michelle- great writing about the contrast and reality.


Casdok said...

I do feel greatfull here in the UK we dont have to do such things.

The Kimbrough Family said...

Your writing is great but the reality of Kentucky's system sucks!! I will continue to pray for you all. Hang in there and know that everything will work out in the end.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Everywhere is a fight for autism support. No amount of research is finding a solution and as no one knows the cause, it's highly unlikely they will ever find a cure.

Crystal xx