The discussion around finances can be daunting for any family. But a family with a child with special needs requires even more strategic planning. How can I afford the added expenses of raising a child on the spectrum? What can I do now to ensure my child is cared for when I’m gone? Parents caring for a child with autism already face many more expenses today than other parents; from therapy sessions to assistive support. Outside of the support through governmental funding, it’s important for parents to look at alternative private sources/savings for the increasing costs of care. The best way to address it, is to map out a plan that works for you and your family. Looking into all of the resources available and talking through your options with a financial planner is the best way to ensure peace of mind and security for your child’s future.
Here is a short list of options for you to look into:
• Special Needs Trusts
• ABLE Accounts: A Savings Tool for Individuals with Disabilities
• State funding/federal programming
• Local programming
Your child depends on you for so much, but keep hope for a future, independent living, college, and other options open by exploring the possibilities today!
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A parent’s love is no different for a child with ASD verses any of their siblings. But it can sometimes feel like the focus is always on the needs of the child with ASD. Stresses can be put on marriages, finances, work and other relationships. Acknowledging the time and needs of all your children can lessen tensions and relationship challenges if everyone stays informed and involved.
Here are three tips to continue to strengthen the relationships in the home:
1. Sympathize with Siblings – Make a conscious effort to spend quality time with all your children. Schedules can become hectic but you never want siblings to feel abandoned as you care for your child with ASD. Attend sporting events or go to the movies. Try any activity the sibling(s) enjoy to show them your love and attention.
2. Involve members of your extended family – In your day to day you want to build a network of
support for yourself and your child with ASD. Including extended family will help extend knowledge and information on ASD and provide your family with help when you’re sick or have schedule conflicts with regular caregivers.
3. Find a good church home – having a place of worship helps families handle challenges of autism and provides a safe and inclusive environment for the entire family.
You’re never alone with the challenges you may face, but nurturing the relationships with your family will only be beneficial to you and your child(ren).
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is referred to as a spectrum condition that varies and effects individuals differently. Because there is no known sole cause of autism, it is important for parents and caregivers to stay aware and current on early detection/signs to support families and individuals with autism.
Development screenings are done by pediatricians during wellness checkups for babies and children for behaviors of autism spectrum disorder. Some behaviors may be apparent in infancy while others become clearer during early childhood.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has developed a detailed list of behaviors categorized by communication, social behavior, stereotyped behavior and other behaviors to help with recognizing “red flags”.
Some signs include:
• Does not respond to his/her name by 12 months of age (communication)
• Has poor eye contact (social behavior)
• Gets “stuck” doing the same things over and over and can’t move on to other things (stereotyped behavior)
Some of the red flags apply only at certain ages and would be considered typical for other children your child’s age. Signs of any red flags for autism should be discussed with your child’s health care provider or contact All Pieces Fit for referrals.