Many resourceful clients have been able to find outside financial aid, either in part or in total.
Sometimes parents are able to use their FSA account for therapy. Because our therapy is a learning disability treatment, it is on the FSA spending list of eligible services. Eligibility may vary according to the terms of your FSA. Our advice is to get a referral from your pediatrician. Please contact your FSA administrator if you have any questions.
A number of therapies and treatments for children with special needs and learning disabilities are tax deductible. However, as you might expect, the rules are complex. Your best bet is to contact your tax advisor.
This is specific to Florida, but your state may have this resource as well.
In order to be eligible for a Reading Scholarship Account your child must meet the following requirements:
• Currently enrolled in a Florida public school in third, fourth or fifth grade for the 2020-21 school year, and
• Scored a performance level 1 or 2 on the English Language Arts (ELA) test in the 2018-19 school year, or
• Enrolled in one of Florida’s 300 Lowest Performing Elementary Schools in 2018-19, or
• Enrolled in one of Florida’s elementary schools that earned a D or F school grade in 2018-19, or
• Identified in the 2019-20 school year as having substantial deficiency in reading based on their most recent available screening and progress monitoring assessment.
There are thousands of local organizations always looking for opportunities to help people in their local community. They will often entertain one-off applications to pay for a program in full or in part. Local groups to check out would include Civics, Special Ed Kiwanis, Lions Club, Roundtable, Junior League, and local churches.
Many school districts have Education Foundations whose mission includes helping struggling students in their community. They will also most likely respond to a letter application. Many towns also have Special Interest groups focused on education. Your state may offer scholarships for supplemental education.
We have had experience with some schools paying for one-off programs. If our program can help your child, it can save the schools thousands of dollars in future special education costs.
There are people in your community who are immersed in the world of charitable support. This includes all of the local churches, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, librarians, local council members and community leaders. These people are always on the lookout for worthy causes, and that for sure includes helping a child turn around their school career.
There are all kinds of groups organized around autism, Asperger syndrome, dyslexia, learning disabilities and other issues. There are also organizations set up to provide financial help. Google is your friend here.
When doing your research for each organization, you will need to know the Mission Statement and the name of the President, Chair or Treasurer — if the name is not on a website, try calling to get the name of the right person to contact. Also look to see if there are any student-oriented grant programs already in place that might fit. Note, these kinds of grants often have related application forms that you would use, rather than a letter.
Here is a suggested letter structure. Use a business letter style and start with something like “Dear Mr. Smith”:
Start with a question, something like this:“Would your organization be interested in helping a child in its community to overcome his learning difficulties and get back on a college track?”
Then explain your child’s situation, in relation to this question. For example: “My child, John, has struggled with reading his entire life. We have tried everything, but nothing has worked. He is falling behind at school, his confidence is eroding, and frankly, I am worried about what the future holds for him."
Request specific funding, including the amount you need, the dates this will cover and the value you expect. For example:
“I strongly believe that John needs to do the Boost program. It will cost *, and their treatment approach is specific, structured, and backed by research. John would most likely require 5 months of therapy to bring him to grade level."
Explain also why you need financial help. Also, if you have received partial funding from an organization, mention that, as organizations are more comfortable with joint participation.
Closing Statement. Restate your request, but create a vision of how their financial help would make a difference. For example: “Your funding will help John live up to his potential, complete his education and be a positive contributor to society. Thank you for considering this request.”
End the letter with “Best Regards,” or “Sincerely Yours,” followed by several spaces, then your first and last name.
Add a P. S. Many people read the P. S. of a one-page letter first, so put an important piece of information there to interest the potential donor in reading the letter. This may be a link to The Dyslexia Code website - the page that best describes how our program would help your child. Or it may be a personal achievement or noteworthy observation about your child.