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Word Count: 942
The Cost of Raising a Child with Special Needs The cost of raising a child with Spina Bifida a birth defect that affects the spinal cord poses a serious question to the parents Will I be able to provide and pay for all of my childs special needs Prenatal care including tests ultra sounds surgeries for the birth and repair of the cyst on the infants spinal cord along with placing a shunting device in the infants head are costs incurred before the baby is brought home Health problems learning disabilities physical therapy paralysis and regular visits to specialists are more problems a child with special needs must further endure adding additional financial strain to the parent The monumental costs to raising a child with special needs progressively increase every year as the child grows however cost should not be the key factor in determining whether or not a parent can rear a child A fetus diagnosed with Spina Bifida while still in the mothers womb is considered a high-risk pregnancy A blood test is given to the mother to determine the amount of protein called AFP in her bloodstream High amounts of this protein will turn out a positive screening test which usually means there is a defect in the fetus Specialists must then monitor the infant through monthly physical exams therefore increasing the cost of the pregnancy If the defect is not found during the blood testing process then it is usually found through an ultrasound an instrument used to view the fetus by taking pictures inside the womb These pictures are usually taken during the twentieth week of the pregnancy followed by several more at least two as the pregnancy progresses before the actual birth These photos can determine brain abnormalities the amount of damage to the vertebrae and how high on the spinal cord the defect occurs The cost of pregnancy with a defected fetus is nearly quadrupled compared
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