This is a big one.
We want Dexter to have the absolute best chance at being as independent and strong as possible. To do that, he needs specialised equipment and lots of therapies.
We have chosen to give him weekly physiotherapy, because we believe early intervention is important. With the NDIS being introduced, therapists all charging $175 an hour.
Physiotherapy = $175/hour
Speech therapy = $175/hour
Occupational Therapy = $175/hour
That would be a cost of $525 a week, for things Dexter needs in order to develop the skills and strengths he needs to become more independent.
Dexter also has hydrotherapy once a week.
Dexter needs thickeners in his liquids, as he chokes on water and juice. When he does this, liquid can fall into his lungs, which leads to pneumonia. Thickener costs about $18 a week.
Dexter is still in nappies, as he does not have the words to tell us he needs to go to the toilet. Also, he cannot walk himself to the toilet.
He needs specialised toothbrushes, so when we brush his teeth, we don't miss any tricky places.
Dexter is using his second walker. We bought the second one from another family and saved hundreds of dollars.
Because he is growing, we will need to replace his standing frame (which he uses every night) and his high low chair (which is used several times a day) in 2018. Together, this will be a cost of at least $20,000. Expensive, but necessary.
Soon, we are going to need to buy a bigger van. We are going to need it modified, to allow us to push Dexter's wheelchair in to the back. He will sit in it while we drive. The van and modifications will cost at least $100,000. (Anyone know a car dealership who would like to talk to us?!)
Dexter's shoes cost about $170, second hand. Then, we need to send them away and have a wedge added to the sole of one shoe, to even out his different leg lengths.
Dexter has the loan of an eyegaze system, which has the potential to become a method of communication for him. He needs to use it, to gain the skills he needs, in order to use it effectively. Thousands.
The cost of level 4-5 quadriplegic cerebral palsy are incredible.
We have had many moments of anxiety and sadness, when we think about money. We can't give Dexter all the things he needs.
Luckily, we have had incredible support from our local community. To the people who have supported us... You have helped more than you may even realise and we are so grateful. Every cent given to Dexter is spent on Dexter.
Expect a 2018 fundraiser! We are not sure what we will do, but we will need to do something.
So, today's challenge - plan your family budget, but cater to the needs of someone who has severe cerebral palsy.
My First Wheelchair
Walking Ladder – How We Made Ours
Arm Wraps Help Me Sit
The New Chair
About My Bike
New Standing Frame
Walker Day! What a Day!
My Own Theratogs
Learning to Communicate
Why Lifting Me Up Feels Like Letting Me Down
Helping a Boy Stand
Dexter's First Month
Dexter's Cerebral Palsy
Who is Dexter?
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