Who Will Take Care of My Child with Special Needs When I am Gone?
This is the question that kept me up one night a few years ago. Not having an answer to this question is what started me on my journey of discovery for my family and it was the idea behind the creation of the website www.FailuretoPlan.com. I needed answers so that I could sleep comfortably knowing that if something were to happen to me that night, there was a plan in place that would take over and protect my family when I could no longer.
But, my child has autism and I have always been concerned about his future. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to plan for my child’s future because his future weighed heavily on me — I just didn’t know what to do or where to go for expert guidance and direction. I was so busy with speech therapy, OT, IEPs, typical IEP’s for my special child and the sports leagues, practices, student government activities of my oldest child…
…Overwhelmed at times doesn’t begin to describe how I felt and days quickly turned in weeks which turned into months and, then, into years. No long term planning was getting done with all of this activity in my life. Can any of you reading this relate?
For me, to create a truly comprehensive plan, I had to come to terms with my own mortality and the fact of the matter is that ignoring the inevitable will not delay its’ coming. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail and failure was not an option for my child and my family. Making no decision is a decision onto itself. Your little child with special needs will become an adult with special needs in the blink of an eye.
No one wants to talk about our mortality but everyone should. Finding a team of professionals to help you navigate through the special needs planning process is a critically important task for all caregivers. Through my own research, I learned of A Special Needs Plan — a leading expert of comprehensive special needs planning and Littman Krooks — the premier special needs planning legal firm in the country.
I spoke to both Bernard Krooks of Littman Krooks and Ryan Platt with A Special Needs Plan and what struck me most about each of them was their sincere interest in wanting to help educate parents on the planning process. I brought up my idea to create a series of online interviews that could help walk a parent through the key elements of preparing a plan for their special child and they both readily agreed. We have completed several of these interviews already and you can watch and listen to them on our website. Each one is about 25-30 minutes long.
It was important to me that what I learned on my journey, I would be able to share with other parents and caregivers. Utilizing social media platforms makes it easy to document my learning and make it available to you through YouTube and other social media outlets. You can watch the “live” interviews on YouTube or Google+ as they take place and ask questions of Ryan and Bernard live on the day of our interviews.
If one of your goals is to finally get your special needs plan completed in 2014, I would encourage you to listen to our previous interviews and put the upcoming ones on your calendar so you can learn how to set up a plan for your family in the new year.