Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good things come to those who wait....

Wait and fight like hell.

Anthem Ordered To Cover Costs Of Autism Therapy

Family Wins Case In Autism Coverage Lawsuit

Abby Tappert was diagnosed with autism two years ago. At the time, her mother, Jill, said Abby couldn't talk or socialize like other kids.

Like most mothers, Jill Tappert searched for treatment plans -- anything that would help her daughter live as normal a life as possible.

Today, Abby is quite capable of having a conversation at the lunch table.

She even has an extensive dinosaur collection that she loves to line up and name off.

Her mother credits Abby's remarkable progress to a treatment plan called Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA.

The only problem with the plan was it wasn't covered by their insurance company and it wasn't cheap. In fact, two years of treatment cost the family about $110,000.

But, Jill Tappert didn't give up.

She launched appeal after appeal and finally called in a lawyer.

Last week, an arbiter sided with the Tapperts and awarded them $110,000.

It was an important decision for the Tapperts and other families of autistic children across the U.S.

"I do think it sets a precedent for some families, families that have a PPO policy with Anthem including other states. (They) will be able to look at the ruling and go Anthem's policy is flawed. ABA is the standard of care in treating autism," said Tappert.

But, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield said not so fast.

In a statement the company said: "This decision is not a broad-based declaration that ABA therapy is 'medically necessary' in all cases. To what extent this type of therapy should be covered...should be made by legislators and/or the division of insurance."

The ruling's implication is still unknown but the Tapperts said it's a step in the right direction.

Anthem said several insurance companies do not currently provide ABA coverage.

They said if a family would like to make a claim for ABA coverage they will evaluate them on a case-by-case basis.

Family Voices of Colorado helps families with the appeals and filing process. You can contact them at 1-800-881-8272 or via the Web at

I pray that that Blue Cross Blue Shield is the first of many insurance companies who do the right thing. I hope they fall like a house of cards, the shameless miscreants. Can you imagine the outcry if insurance companies denied coverage for chemotherapy to cancer patients because it wasn't "proven" to work in every case? Or anti-depressants for mental illness for the same reason?

Way to go Tappert's! Thank you for fighting the good fight. I pray that your Abby continues to grow, blossom, and reach for the stars.

Everyone else, keep it up. We shall overcome!

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Luke 10: 17-21

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tell us about when we were little

Like a lot of little kids, my girls love to hear stories about when they were babies/toddlers. Funny ones. Sweet ones. Just stories that evidence a time when they were with us, but that they cannot remember.

I have told them such stories more than once and they always enjoy them, but the other day they asked for new ones and frankly, I was at a loss. Truth told, there weren't a lot of fun times when they were small. There were mostly tantrums. Aborted trips to the zoo and park. Quick exits from playdates and parties. Expulsions from Mother's Day Out and bible studies. Meltdowns. Self-injury. Aggression. Exhausting, baffling rituals. And meltdowns. Did I mention the meltdowns?

We don't have a lot of photos from age 15 months until the age of four, and video footage? Forget it. I never called out to dh, "Oh quick honey! Grab the camcorder! Abby is scratching herself til she bleeds again. And there's Emma Jean, scaling the cabinets to perch precariously on the edge and throw down the plates while reciting Lucy's lines from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.' Again."

Good times. Good times.


I struggled to come up with some new little quip that would satisfy them. That would satisfy me even. But I drew a blank. I don't like to remember those days too much. Those memories are uncomfortable and they make my heart hurt. There is no way I can share any of that with them though, obviously. I was left feigning tiredness and telling them they'd have to wait until another time. But I am afraid I won't have much more to offer then either. Tales of Abby sitting and shredding the phone book for hours aren't exactly the Kodak moments they are seeking.

As a parent who witnessed a lot of bad days around here first hand and having seen them overcome so much, seen our family overcome so much, I don't want to look back. My hope lies in their futures, but they want these imagined happy memories painted and that canvass remains largely blank.


Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the LORD brought lasting ruin on them. It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done.

Deuteronomy 11:2-7

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Perhaps a Literal Land ex-pat?

My brother sent this to me. I could not resist.

True Story:

A company had a "going away" party for a lady in their Little Rock claim office.

One of the supervisors called a Wal-Mart and ordered the cake.

He told them to write: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath to write "We will miss you".

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  • International Day of Prayer for Autism & Asperger's Syndrome