Just like parenting a typically developing child, parenting a Special Needs Child is full of challenges and rewards. Milestones are anticipated and often met, but many times much later than the typical age and often with much therapy, intervention and work. While there are many books and articles about parenting children with various special needs, every child is different and many times the books and articles just don’t match what the parents and children are experiencing. How many times have the parents of a special needs child heard a health care, teacher or other provider say “this is unusual” or “well, this isn’t typical”. As a parent of a special needs child, I have found it helpful to use such books and articles as a guide, but not to rely on them for all of the answers, or expect that my daughter will fit into their predetermined categories. Everyone is unique, and in that way special needs children are just like everyone else.
As parents it is our job to parent our children in the way that best meets the needs of our children. Parenting a special needs child is no different in that respect. It can be a bit more of a challenge, however to figure out what our special needs child needs, or what is best for them. That’s where finding the right resources and supports comes in.
There are many resources available to help parents help their special needs children in many areas. The trick is finding the right resources and supports for you and your child. We have extensive experience in this area and can help connect you to the right resources and supports for you and your special needs child. View our great list of resources here.
Parenting a special needs child also requires a different mindset when it comes to financial and estate planning.
Apply for the Developmental Disability Waiver. Parents of children with developmental disabilities need apply for the Developmental Disability Waiver (DD Waiver) through the Human Services Division as soon as possible. The waiting list for those services is currently approximately 10 years, it is crucial to get on the waiting list while the child is young and receiving service through the school. We can help you through this process as well.
Special Needs Adults Care. Parents also need to consider how their child will be provided for in adulthood and when the parents are no longer able to care for their special needs child. You don’t need a large estate or a lot of money to need a special needs trust for your child, or an estate plan for you as the parent. Also, don’t forget that when you special needs child turns eighteen he or she may need to have a guardian appointed by the Court. The process of appointment is not complicated and in most cases the parent(s) can be appointed to serve in that role. But, it does take time and the assistance of an attorney.
Plan For The Future. Thinking to the future when you can barely see to the end of the day can be a challenge, but it is so important for the welfare of your special needs child for you to plan ahead. We can help you do that.
Making the connections to the right resources and planning for your child’s future will help you be more confident in your ability to provide every opportunity and resource possible for your special needs child. As my own special needs daughter learns and grows every day, we learn and grow with her, and I would be happy to share what I have learned with you and assist in accessing resources and planning for your child’s future.