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Old 18.07.2020, 20:29
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Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Hi,

Can anyone tell me please how things work in Switzerland (canton Vaud) as far as getting support for a child with ASD/ADHD goes? He is 8.

We are currently in Australia and I am amazed by how much financial assistance is available for kids once they are diagnosed - it covers things like therapists, household help for the parents etc...and I am just wondering what to expect when we move back to Switzerland as far as how much we will be out of pocket for things like motor-therapy, psychologist, occupational therapist, etc...for our child on an ongoing basis?

Also is there financial support for them when they are older if they can't get a job?
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Old 18.07.2020, 21:38
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

The rules are pretty complicated. When I looked at it a few years back you needed to have a C permit, Swiss citizenship or be born in Switzerland to even qualify to apply. Then there is also a cutoff age for diagnosis - you need to have an accepted diagnosis by a particular age.



from what you have said, you are on the NDIS system in Australia, which is very new...



I would not expect that you will get more support in Switzerland, I fear it would be a lot less...
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Old 18.07.2020, 22:13
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Everyone who is registered as living in Switzerland must have health (medical) insurance. It is mandatory. It comprises of "basic" and "supplementary" cover. There are many threads on the forum about that.

While a pre-existing condition can exclude one from getting supplementary cover, basic insurance cannot exclude a pre-existing condition. And fortunately, basic insurance is really good, and will cover your child's medical conditions. This will include doctors and nurses, psychologists, and treatment in hospitals and clinics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and medication.
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Old 18.07.2020, 23:05
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Maybe it is very different for children but I was diagnosed as an adult and there was nothing available to me. Furthermore, there are still a lot of people who believe it is all made up. Just eat healthy and exercise, they say.

There will more than likely be some form of support in a generalised sense as there would be for a dyslexic child and certain measures to help support learning but what you are describing sounds pretty amazing.
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Old 19.07.2020, 01:21
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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And fortunately, basic insurance is really good, and will cover your child's medical conditions. This will include doctors and nurses, psychologists, and treatment in hospitals and clinics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and medication.
Not unless things changed very recently... as Swisspea already pointed out some this the responsibility of the Kanton not the insurance and is dependent on the age of the child when diagnosed etc..
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Old 19.07.2020, 02:10
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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Not unless things changed very recently... as Swisspea already pointed out some this the responsibility of the Kanton not the insurance and is dependent on the age of the child when diagnosed etc..
Does this mean, Swisspea and Jim, that the Canton can override or lessen the responsibility of the medical insurance? There must be some gap, here, that I don't understand.

Edit: Could this be specific to Canton Vaud, perhaps?
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Old 19.07.2020, 07:17
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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Hi,

Can anyone tell me please how things work in Switzerland (canton Vaud) as far as getting support for a child with ASD/ADHD goes? He is 8.

We are currently in Australia and I am amazed by how much financial assistance is available for kids once they are diagnosed - it covers things like therapists, household help for the parents etc...and I am just wondering what to expect when we move back to Switzerland as far as how much we will be out of pocket for things like motor-therapy, psychologist, occupational therapist, etc...for our child on an ongoing basis?

Also is there financial support for them when they are older if they can't get a job?
I don't think there's any financial support in the shape of a monthly allowance (or maybe it depends on the level of your income) but the municipality or the canton covers the therapy sessions that are recommended by the school (school's psychologist, special needs psychologist/therapists). Whatever is extra and decided by parents/paediatrician/GP is covered by the health insurance.

It is worth investigating further, directly with your insurance and municipality because things might vary significantly from canton to canton.
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Old 19.07.2020, 08:12
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

This is what I know but please verify:

1) from a school perspective, the local school will be responsible to provide any support needed to work well at school (i.e. psychologist etc). The school may try to push you to a "private" school buy it's their responsibility so be ready.
2) to be covered by the invalidity insurance, you must have a diagnosis AND started some sort of therapy etc before the child turns 9 and apply for it before that also.
3) Invalidity is then not covered by health insurance.
4) Health insurance may cover some things, will depend on the contract.

K
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Old 19.07.2020, 09:04
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

It might be worth contacting www.allspecialkids.org to see what advice they can give you.
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Old 19.07.2020, 09:12
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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This is what I know but please verify:

1) from a school perspective, the local school will be responsible to provide any support needed to work well at school (i.e. psychologist etc). The school may try to push you to a "private" school buy it's their responsibility so be ready.
2) to be covered by the invalidity insurance, you must have a diagnosis AND started some sort of therapy etc before the child turns 9 and apply for it before that also.
3) Invalidity is then not covered by health insurance.
4) Health insurance may cover some things, will depend on the contract.

K
That’s pretty much my understanding of it too.
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Old 19.07.2020, 11:04
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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Does this mean, Swisspea and Jim, that the Canton can override or lessen the responsibility of the medical insurance? There must be some gap, here, that I don't understand.

Edit: Could this be specific to Canton Vaud, perhaps?
The insurance does not have any responsibility... birth "defects" are the responsibility of the Canton. I don't remember all the details of it now as it is over 20 years ago, but for my son who has Aspergers, the insurance paid nothing, it was all covered by the Canton.
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Old 19.07.2020, 14:08
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Rachvdg, search the forum for posts by member 'ecb'. She has written much about finding resources for her autistic child here, including financing hurdles. She clearly has done thorough research, learned how to navigate the varying bureaucracies, and has been very helpful to many other posters sharing her experience.

You might want to drop her a PM as well; she has not been on the forum for some time but perhaps she might still see a private message.

Wishing you and your family all the very best.
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Old 21.07.2020, 02:28
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Hi all,

Thanks for the helpful info - a bit more details.

My son is swiss, was born in Richterswil before we moved back to NZ in 2013.

He is 8 at the moment due to turn 9 in October. So very close to the cutoff age that you are talking about as far as him needing to be diagnosed before the age of 9 - yikes!

He will have his full diagnosis by August the 11th so hopefull its not too late? Do we have to have contacted the Swiss authorities before he turns 9 in order to set things in motion or do you think he would still qualify for help if we come back to Switzerland while he is 9 (we were thinking to come back sooner, but now with Coronavirus it is likely not till next March or so now)

So he would still be 9 when we enter the country - so I'm assuming he will still qualify?

Thanks for teh advice to contact the other member ECB who has written about autism - I will follow that up ;-)

I'm realising with it all being so decentralised in Switzerland that its going to be much more complicated and stressful I'm sure for finding support and figuring out how to navigate it all, but I don't want to let that put me off coming back as for every other area of our lives, I do think coming "home" will be best. Just trying to navigate this new challenge is really complicating it all now ;-)

Thanks for all the input everyone!
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Old 21.07.2020, 02:42
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

The tricky thing is that he is being diagnosed here in Australia at the moment, so we will be bringing all that paperwork with us back to Switzerland. But what if we are too late? Does that mean he won't get any support in Switzerland at all?

I've contacted the Austim support network in Vaud and AllSpecialKids but they don't seem to be giving me very specific advice, maybe they can't since they don't know the details yet, (or my questions aren't specific enough? I'll try again) as they just direct me to the cantonal insurance pages etc. to find out more info, which I have been reading and looking into, but again its all very vague and mentions general rules, etc. so its kind of hard to figure out what will apply to our situation from reading all that detailed law/rules jargon and not just having a straight answer.

I guess I'm afraid of coming back and finding that my son doesn't get nearly the level of support that would help him/us and then my partner (and kids) regret moving back to Switzerland because there would be additional financial and social stress for us and things turn out "harder" than they would have been staying in Australia (although none of us really want to be here either at this point, but we don't have much choice now since Coronavirus has killed our options to leave at this point)!

ahhh the complications of life! What would you guys do?

I am the one wanting to move back to Switzerland as I loved it there, have a friend network in Geneva area already, enjoy the family outings and vacations we can do and generally want to live the rest of our lives there - ie. it is home in my heart.

BUT...my partner is worried about how much he will have to work to support that lifestyle again, and my kids (we have 4) don't speak french (yet) - do you think I'm being irresponsible wanting to chuck my family into a situation that will initially be a lot harder (short term) for the benefits of longer term gain (ie. being settled back in a place we love, long term and not moving again?)

I keep flip flopping on it all becuase I don't want to make the wrong decision - as i am the one pushing to come back. arrgggg...help!

The other option we have is to move back to NZ to be in the city we were living in for 5 years but left because we were bored to tears and really didnt want to be there. BUT my parents live there, it is really easy for the kids, they love it there and we would definitely get autism support for my son. I just don't want to go there. Should I just give up my dream to come back to Switzerland and settle for the kids sake and just come back to Switzerland later when we are older without kids and retire there? (Although I doubt we could afford it then!)

arrrggg....help! what would you do?
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Old 21.07.2020, 07:44
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

Rachvd, those are some pretty hefty decision factors to weigh up. You face some tough choices, so cyber hugs all around.

Assuming sufficient support for your son is available, there is still the question of whether language will be an issue in accessing that support. If local programs were available only in French, how do you think your son would fare in such a program? That's something to weigh up as well.

What would your family plans look like if you delayed the move a few years, to allow your son to start accessing the Australian (or NZ) autism support system? At least then you'd have a better idea of what his needs were and how to meet them - which might put you in a better place to navigate the bureaucracy and advocate for him once here in Switzerland.

(Added bonus is that would give your other children time to become proficient in French, which will make their transition easier.)



---

Reading your last post, the thing that jumps out at me is that you mention your partner's hesitancy.

As you already know, upping sticks and moving to the other side of the world is stressful - double that when children are involved, raise that an order of magnitude when there are special needs.

In my circle of friends, the couples who have been broken by the move to Switzerland were those where one partner was less than enthusiastic about the move in the first place, when one partner saw the move as a compromise rather than an opportunity. When the hesitant partner is the one who will bear the lion's share of family financial responsibility, it is important not to underestimate this issue.

Were it me, I'd be having many more heart-to-hearts with my partner.

Wishing you and your family all the very best.
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Old 21.07.2020, 07:59
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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I guess I'm afraid of coming back and finding that my son doesn't get nearly the level of support that would help him/us and then my partner (and kids) regret moving back to Switzerland because there would be additional financial and social stress for us and things turn out "harder" than they would have been staying in Australia (although none of us really want to be here either at this point, but we don't have much choice now since Coronavirus has killed our options to leave at this point)!

ahhh the complications of life! What would you guys do?

I am the one wanting to move back to Switzerland as I loved it there, have a friend network in Geneva area already, enjoy the family outings and vacations we can do and generally want to live the rest of our lives there - ie. it is home in my heart.

BUT...my partner is worried about how much he will have to work to support that lifestyle again, and my kids (we have 4) don't speak french (yet) - do you think I'm being irresponsible wanting to chuck my family into a situation that will initially be a lot harder (short term) for the benefits of longer term gain (ie. being settled back in a place we love, long term and not moving again?)

I keep flip flopping on it all becuase I don't want to make the wrong decision - as i am the one pushing to come back. arrgggg...help!

The other option we have is to move back to NZ to be in the city we were living in for 5 years but left because we were bored to tears and really didnt want to be there. BUT my parents live there, it is really easy for the kids, they love it there and we would definitely get autism support for my son. I just don't want to go there. Should I just give up my dream to come back to Switzerland and settle for the kids sake and just come back to Switzerland later when we are older without kids and retire there? (Although I doubt we could afford it then!)

arrrggg....help! what would you do?
I think it would be really difficult for me to take a decision. I'm not good at that either.

I have a friend who moved countries because of her job and her child didn't get the proper help (that was in Belgium) and he basically lost a few good years and you probably know what a catastrophy could that be for a child that has these challenges. And yes, the language was an issue because they didn't speak French in the family.

If I were you I would consult myself with his current health specialists, see what they have to say. I'm afraid your plans and dreams don't or shouldn't count so much. Talk to specialists who know your son. We can only sympathise here but that would be it.


Hang in there! And btw, the grass is not always greener.
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Old 21.07.2020, 10:28
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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do you think I'm being irresponsible wanting to chuck my family into a situation that will initially be a lot harder (short term)
Sorry to say... but yes probably!

Australia is known for work life balance, so yes your Husband would probably have to work harder. Also with Corona, the jobs market is now very ropey, I wouldn’t be giving up a secure job right now!

4 kids who don’t speak the language. I do t know how old the other 3 are, but even without the disability, they will be set back for a while. Is French your native language? If it is why did you not speak it with them at home?

I don’t think you’ll get anywhere near the support for your son as you do in Australia.

Maybe you’d be better moving within Oz if you don’t like where you are? I have Swiss family in WA and they love it and it’s gorgeous.
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Old 21.07.2020, 10:34
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

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Hang in there! And btw, the grass is not always greener.
Greenmount make a very good point here.

A relocation stint back in the US taught me that there is a lot of truth to the saying 'you can't go home again'. My Repat Blues episode only affected me, not my whole family - and you are up against so much more than I was.

Have you been back to Switzerland since you left?

Would it be possible for you to make an extended visit here, perhaps with your son, to help you make these decisions? A trip would be a chance to not only to explore what support is available here (these things can sometime be a lot easier to do in person) and how your son reacts to a French environment, but also to see whether the reality of Switzerland today matches your memories.

Or if not an extended trip, perhaps a short 'fact finding mission' on your own could give you some insights.

Just a thought. Again, I wish you and your family all the very best.
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Old 21.07.2020, 12:13
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

As I understood - OP is from NZ (naturalized CH). Her partner is Swiss, kids were born in CH. I will be boring and a major partypooper, so if it rubs you the wrong way, chuck it under a pretext that it is not my intention, we are just brainstorming and I would have prefered in your situation to hear also the not so peachy scenarios. I already wrote that coming here with 5 dependants will be difficult for your partner. Now finding out about your kid's condition, it could eat up your time and energy resources (aside of the budget, too) because you will compensate for the support that is automatic in AUS but not here. Your spouse will have to work more, maybe you will not be able to rely on his family to give a hand with kids. Kids will be busy adjusting...Trust me, it can be amazing. Childcare can substitute, you get a job, kids will be thrown to learn without all that support that exists elsewhere (I know it ican be good for them), even your ASD child might do better because sometimes the institutional safety net missing is actually better, kids are so autonomous and for life. But - I am thinking about you now, the minute things do not work, it will be "Momny wanted to move!". Kids can come here later to have a fab life at uni. You keep flying here with your partner to just scoop out the best stuff about CH. I don't mean to rain on your parade. I already wrote about your pension scheme here to think about, too. And...life in a lot of people's hometowns seems dull for them. Growing up does that sometimes. And just a thought - what if your son doesn't want to be officially diagnosed with a disability in CH?

Anyways - I feel for you. I didn't have a choice in a few situations and I think it made my life actually easier. Hugs.
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Old 21.07.2020, 12:21
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Re: Financial support through disability insurance for ASD/ADHD

I'd rather be bored to tears than stressed out of my mind. And what you are describing sounds like a stressful situation even with support and in a familiar setting. If your husband is not 100% on board and depending on how prone he is to resentment, it sounds like a risky move.
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