Parents of children with autism have a lot on their minds. There’s the day-to-day routine of getting the child to ABA therapy sessions, dealing with behavioral issues, and ensuring compliance with the child’s IEP. But in addition to those daily challenges is one major, overriding concern: What will happen to the child when the parents aren’t around to care for him or her? All kids grow up quickly, but children with autism might not reach the general level of functioning expected of an adult. There are a few things you can do to help your child have a happy and secure future, even long after you’re gone.
Special Needs Trusts
Your child may receive disability benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. These benefits may not be enough to provide for all of your child’s future needs, but you can set up a special needs trust to cover the difference. It’s preferable to leave money to your child in this trust instead of in your will since cash gifts or inheritances can disqualify a person from receiving disability benefits. Talk to an experienced lawyer about special needs trusts.
Life Care Planning
A life care plan isn’t a financial vehicle like a special needs trust. Rather, it’s an evolving document that spells out the specifics of your family member’s current and future needs. For a child with autism, a life care plan may cover these areas:
- Daily activities
- Medical history and care
- Environment management
- Social needs and recreation
Your lawyer should be able to point you in the direction of a certified life care planner.
Another step you can take right now to help your child as an adult is to take parent training classes from an ABA therapist. You’ll learn how to help your child acquire social skills, and these will prove invaluable to your child throughout his or her life. With solid social skills, your child will have the foundation for a happier present and future.
At The Behavior Exchange, we’ve made it our life’s work to help children with autism grow into capable, independent individuals who can live life to the fullest. Our behavior analysts near
Plano and the DFW area provide parent training, ABA therapy, and school advocacy services. Call our ABA school at (888) 716-8084, and let us know how we can support your family.