Special Needs Parents are Broke

Ok, that was a HUGE general asumption. I get that. I’m sure not ALL of us are broke, but most of us would go to the ends of the earth for our children (regardless if they’re special needs or not), so here is the question I’m posing today. Why are toys geared towards children with special needs marked up SO high? Not just toys but ANY sort of equipment that might benefit our children?

I happened to be talking with a friend a few nights ago, her daughter has spastic quadriplegia CP. She’s in the process of trying to find a bike for her daughter. She had shown me a picture of a special needs bike and then told me the cost. $3200. HOW IS THAT EVEN ACCEPTABLE!? This is what it looks like:

(Photo Credit)

I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars that Jillian should be able to ride a “typical” tricycle with few modifications to it. She tried one a few weeks ago at PT.

While filling out many mountains of paperwork since Jillian’s diagnosis. Our government asks to estimate how much you spend on your child with special needs. I looked at our case worker at the time and said ‘oh. I don’t think we need financial assistance.’ Although my husband and I pay taxes, I felt as if it were a handout of sorts. When our case worker explained it to me, it made a lot of sense. Whatever toys were recommended for Jillian, I bought. Whatever appointments she had, I drove and obviously parked the car. Meals at the hospital if we were there for a long time, etc. All the little things certainly add up.

I’ve also come across a lot of special needs toys order books. I look at the toys listed and think that I could easily find something VERY similar (if not the same) toy as in the book. Why is that?! I remember my friend Nena telling me that she had bought her son a Pablo (from the Backyardigans) keyboard or guitar (my memory is fading!) through a special needs book and then found the EXACT same toy at Walmart. Only difference? The power button was bigger.

So what gives? Why is there such a markup on said “special needs” toys? I think it’s pretty frustrating that things that could HELP our children are ridiculously overpriced.


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