ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts Can Be a Winning Combination

This article was written by The Special Needs Alliance (SNA). The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Learn more about the SNA: www.specialneedsalliance.org.  ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) are both financial tools for managing funds without affecting an individual’s eligibility for such means-tested programs as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But that’s pretty much […]

ABLE Accounts 2019: Top Questions

What are the ABLE savings limits for 2019? ABLE accounts are protected savings opportunities for people who have a significant disability with an onset prior to age 26. For 2019, friends and family can contribute up to $15,000 directly into an ABLE account. ABLE account owners who work, and do not have an employer- sponsored retirement account, may save up to $12,140 in additional savings from their earnings. Can I save income within ABLE to […]

Spread The Word INCLUSION

‌Save the Date! For our New 2019 Campaign Over the past several years, you have stepped up and helped us Spread the Word to End the R-Word, which started the conversation on respect. Now, to continue this important conversation, the Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics and Best Buddies are building on these efforts in a new campaign called, Spread the Word Inclusion, to stop all types of discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. This year’s day […]

Overview of Professionals in the School-Age Special Education System

Throughout your child’s academic career, he or she will come into contact with dozens of different professionals who are there for support. The list below provides an overview of some of these individuals and a description of the role they may have. Be aware that your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) will control who works directly with your child and what they do. Regular Education Teachers Depending on your child’s educational placement, your child may […]

Inclusion vs. Self-Contained Education for Children with ASD Diagnoses

The idea is not new. Including children with special needs in classrooms to learn alongside typical learners promotes the sense of a welcoming environment for all, where differences are valued and learning opportunities are accessible to all, in every classroom. Depending on where you live, the concept may be referred to as “mainstreaming,” “integration,” as well as “inclusion.” Long before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities did not attend public school. […]

Placement Options for Preschool Students Receiving Special Education Services

There are a number of placement options to consider for your preschool child. The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team – which includes you, the parent – will decide which placement or placements are appropriate. The placement decided upon by the IEP team will be paid for by the school district in which you live as part of your child’s Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). When considering an educational placement, the IEP team must decide […]

PCPID to Host Virtual and In-Person Meetings in March

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities will be hosting a series of meetings to discuss their 2019 report to the President. All PCPID meetings are open to the public. On Monday, March 4, PCPID will host a virtual meeting from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EST). To listen in, please dial (888) 949–2790 and use pass code 1989852. PCPID will also host an in-person meeting Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, from […]

Preventing Abuse of Your Special Needs Child

Here’s a somber statistic: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are far more likely to be abused by someone they know than a stranger. Abuse is any behavior that is unwanted, intentionally harmful, demeaning or insulting, or causes the victim to be afraid. This may include physical violence, sexual assault, bullying, emotional maltreatment or neglect. Sadly, because an individual with intellectual and developmental disability may be perceived as an “easy target,” the likelihood of abuse […]

Child Bearing and The Challenges of Intellectual Disability

By Lydia Furman, MD, Associate Editor, Pediatrics In a recently released issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Hilary Brown and colleagues from Toronto, Canada ask an important question: are mothers with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) more or less likely to have their infants placed in protective custody immediately after birth compared to mothers without such a disability (10.1542/peds.2018-1416)? The authors used several large and complete national health information databases to answer their question. A total of […]

Stranger Safety for Your Special Needs Child

When we envision a child with Down syndrome navigating the world without adult supervision, fears about encounters with strangers naturally surface. Many individuals with Down syndrome are friendly and trusting, by nature, and respond warmly to a new acquaintance, a trait that is generally celebrated by those who are privileged to meet them. But, this endearing quality creates a vulnerability that obligates parents to teach them to distinguish between acceptable, harmless exchanges with strangers and […]