Unless someone in your family is a member of a masonic order, it’s possible that everything you know about the long history of American freemasonry comes from the popular 2004 Disney movie National Treasure where Nicholas Cage teams up with a beautiful archivist to uncover the secret location of a massive treasure hidden by Free Masons in the 18th century. Spoiler alert: they find it buried underneath Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Or you’ve spent some time trying to unlock the secrets of the pyramid on the US dollar bill? Even if you missed National Treasure and you don’t care about the mysteries of our currency, you have probably heard of the Shriners. They’re the masonic order that puts on the circus, wears the red Fezs’, and raises millions and millions of dollars for children’s hospitals devoted to treated children with the terrible injuries and illnesses. Well, if you have a child with a speech, hearing, or learning delay, there is one masonic order that you should definitely know about: the Scottish Rite. In the US the Scottish Rite’s financial support for children with language disorders ranks second only to support provided by the public schools. Although slightly less glamorous than buried secret treasure, and not quite as well-known than the Shriners, the Scottish Rite is a serious supporter of the speech and language community.
Children are absolutely priceless. But unfortunately, the cost of raising a child has risen nearly 40% from a decade ago, according to CNN Money. Not including paying for college, the average two-parent, middle-income household spends $226,920 raising a child from birth until the age of 18. And that figure will only rise, especially in this turbulent economy with skyrocketing food prices.
Parents of children with special needs often struggle more than most to ensure that their children get the proper medical care and therapies that they need. When a child is born with severe hearing loss, his parents might consider cochlear implants (CI). But the cost of the surgery, the devices themselves, and the maintenance would leave your jaw dropping. Including the surgery and post-operative fees, the average cost of cochlear implants in the U.S. is $50,000 to $100,000, according to the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons. And that doesn’t include purchasing a warranty to cover the cost of replacement parts later on. Fortunately, there is help for low-income families who wish their child to have cochlear implants.