1. Why doesn't my insurance cover these treatments?
Some companies do and some don't – denied claims most often have to do with HMO limits, billing codes, and restrictions on your child's access to "in-network" and "out-of-network" providers.
Talk About Curing Autism's (TACA) insurance issues.
Some clinicians participate in insurance plans – to determine if your plan will cover a treatment, compare your insurance provider's list with the list of clinicians using the Defeat Autism Now! approach.
3. What's an "esoteric" test – if these are valid, why won't insurance pay for them?
Typically, "esoteric" refers to tests performed at reference laboratories that use rigorous testing that exceeds what most hospitals and basic labs can do. Many large commercial lab companies outsource complex tests to research labs. Contact your insurance plan's lab provider to learn whether or not these tests can be covered under your plan directly or through your in-network lab.
1. What tests and specific labs have clinicians used and found most helpful?
Please see Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments… by Pangborn & Baker (pages 189-209). Available through ARI's store.
2. How does the doctor detect mercury, lead or other heavy metals in my child?
Read the mercury consensus paper.
3. My child is in diapers- how am I supposed to collect all these samples for labs?
Collecting stool and urine samples for labs in a child who is in diapers can be challenging, but parents and physicians have come up with some creative ways to do that.
For stool samples, you can try putting plastic wrap inside the diaper to catch the stool, or, If your child is amenable to sitting on the potty, you can try to get them to produce a sample in a catch basin. You can also line a diaper with cotton cloth diaper to catch a sample if your child has solid stools.
For urine samples, you can use a urine collection bag that attaches to your child and put the diaper over it. Some parents have found that using a two diaper method works well. To do this, you put bag on your child, then cut a hole in the first diaper and pull the bag thru the hole. Then, you place the second diaper over the first one. You can also place sterile 100% cotton balls or washcloths inside the diaper (lots of them) and then using a sterile glove, squeeze out contents into collection jar.
4. Who is going to do the blood draws on my older, combative child? We've had to sedate him just to get haircuts or dental work.
Contact local parents to find a autism-tolerant lab, if you don't know any other parents using these treatments, you could search on the internet for Yahoo Groups in your area.
Tips for blood draws parents have shared include:
- Numb the arm in advance of the appointment: Your physician can write you a prescription for lidocaine – by pre-treating the arm prior to the appointment, you can spare your child discomfort and lower their anxiety for future appointments
- Use social stories to prepare them – the Help Autism Now Society has excellent printable versions online for doctor's appointments and blood draws.
- Work with your teachers, therapists' etc. to pre-teach your child about medical care prior to the appointment to curb their anxiety as much as possible.
5. What's the difference in hair test, stool test or urine challenge for heavy metal toxicity?
Read the mercury consensus paper.