Autism awareness month was in April, but families who deal with the condition know the importance of awareness all year long.
Few people know how expensive it is to care for a child with autism.
But one enterprise family shares with us, their rising bills and how they need help to cope.
One in 88 children have autism, and the cost of treatment could be thousands of dollars per child.
One family in the wiregrass is struggling to make ends meet in order to be able to pay high medical bills.
“Teddy bear, “ says little C.J. Armstrong
“Teddy bear!!! Yay!! Good job, " says his mother Kimberly Armstrong as they do a developmental exercise together.
Do you know of any resources to help Mrs. Kimberly Armstrong get assistance with Autism? If so, please leave your comments below.
Teddy bear, two words 3 year old C.J. Armstrong couldn't say and what let Kimberly Armstrong know something was different.
"At about twelve months he had his check up, I noticed that after he got his shots he was not talking like most babies," says Kimberly Armstrong.
Despite doctors telling her there was nothing wrong, Kimberly’s mother's intuition stepped in.
"Something is still wrong, because a mother's intuition, you know your baby. Better than anybody else knows your baby, so I took him to another doctor, got him evaluated, and the doctor she listed to me and thank god she did because something was wrong."
After multiple tests, C.J. was officially diagnosed.
That was a little over two years ago, and even though little C.J. has progressed since his initial diagnosis, there are still struggles.
“They don't know how we feel, it's a struggle, everyday we have good days, we have bad days," says Kimberly Armstrong.
What makes even more difficult, is the mounds and mounds of paperwork that goes along with autism, not to mention the financial cost of the disability.
"The two hundred dollars is initial but after that is the twenty thirty dollars extra. It's very expensive, I have a five hundred dollar bill, right now for speech therapy," says Kimberly Armstrong.
I have tried Medicaid they turned me down, they told me I need to take them off the insurance."
But despite not getting help Armstrong can still see a glimmer of hope.
"He knows his ABC's, his 123's. He sings itsy bitsy spider, he sings Sponge Bob, he sings Elmo.
My son is living testimony that miracles can truly happen."
A miracle she hopes to continue to see.
Armstrong tells me she hopes to get the assistance she needs to continue speech therapy for her son.
Another factor keeping the Armstrong’s from getting better care, is Kimberly’s husband makes too much for the family to qualify for programs that offer speech therapy at discounted or free rates.