i think one of the reasons this thread has stayed around so long is that many of us on budget101 have special needs kids, and its economical for us to compare stories of what has helped and what has not helped various conditions, i think the thread started over diet and adhd and grew from there. if we compare stories its no replacement for a doctor by any means but the next time we go to the dr we can have a full list of questions and comments to give to them to ask about, such as new treatments, diets, etc. and that does relate directly to budgeting in that instead of going or calling several times, we can have alot to ask at one time and only have one copay. also finding out about things we can do diet-wise to try to improve our childs health or medical condition is very much
related to this forum.

another reason that it is appropriate for budget101 is that many parents (but not all of course) of special needs children survive on food stamps, medicaid and SSI and cannot work full time because of the hundreds of dr appts, phone calls from preschool asking you to pick up your child because he is either acting out or sitting in a corner crying (this was me when my son was 3yrs old) or otherwise living on a very limited budget due to dr copays (if you have insurance and if it covers autism-related services -- many states are just now starting to introduce bills to mandate that insurance companies and medicaid cover autism related services such as respite care, HHAs, PT< OT< ST, etc). I am just going back to work part time as a sub teacher without benefits because it allows me the flexibility I need in order to make sure I am there for my son's dr appts -- most other jobs would fire me with the amount of time I need to take off and also
after-school programs wont take my son as he still isn't potty trained due to sensory issues with his autism.

all that being said this group and other autism-related groups arent a substitute for doctors care -- a supplement at best, I try to always emphasisze that. I posted links so that people could get more proper info there as well -- I agree with something said about joining an autism or adhd or other special needs parenting group on yahoo. look for one that is unbiased -- we could even start one that is budget-related -- here is a question are there any special needs trust/estate planners in our group? if so how about those of us interested in discussing this topic in more detail starting a sister group to budget101 maybe call it budget101_specialneedsparents?