Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Treatment Can Delay Future Attacks Most of the time, multiple sclerosis, or MS, starts mildly, with unpredictable symptoms that can seem baffling. Without treatment, the disease can worsen to the point that you can’t write, speak, or walk. MS starts when the body’s immune system slowly attacks the fatty coating around nerves. Without an intact coating, communication between nerves and the brain becomes impaired. However, it may be years before the first symptoms appear. The symptoms […]

5 Reasons to Consider a Special Needs Trust

BY Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor Here are 5 common reasons for establishing a special needs trust that applies to your family member with a disability. In my last article, I outlined the benefits of ABLE accounts. For many families, ABLE accounts sufficiently meet their desire to provide assets for special needs family members. In higher net worth families, ABLE accounts are the first step in structuring a long-term financial plan […]

How ABLE Accounts Support Special-Needs Children and Their Families

BY Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor ABLE accounts are an important planning tool alongside more-traditional techniques such as special-needs trusts. One financial challenge that many families with special-needs children confront is funding the ever-growing expenses that their child may need over their lifetime. With additional costs of important medical and support care often reaching over $100,000 per year for a special-needs child, many families look to special government programs to fill […]

Overview of Understanding Guardianship for Adults with Special Needs

Guardianship is a valuable tool which can be used to protect individuals who no longer possess the ability to make appropriate personal or financial decisions for themselves.  The guardian assumes the duty of caring for the person with disabilities and/or their assets, and the court maintains oversight to reduce the risk of exploitation or abuse by the guardian. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning guardianship. It is […]

Toilet Training When Your Child Has Multiple Disabilities

Toileting, or elimination, is something everyone does throughout the day, so helping your child achieve more independence in this area is likely to be a high priority for you and your family. If your child is consistently dry for 1-1/2 to 2 hours at a time and can wake up from a nap without being soiled, she may be ready to learn to use the toilet. Although your child’s needs and abilities may vary from […]

Disability Etiquette

Introduction The United States Census Bureau reports that approximately 56.7 million Americans have a disability. This report is for anyone—with or without a disability—who wants to interact more effectively with people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was conceived with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of life, particularly the workplace and the marketplace. Sensitivity toward people with disabilities is not only in the spirit of the ADA, […]

Mobility Devices for Young Children

What are Kiddie Canes, Pre-Canes, and Alternative Mobility Devices? The long cane used by some people with visual impairments has a white shaft, a black handle, and is red near the bottom. The long cane provides a traveler with information about the ground in front of him as he moves. There are several alternative types of mobility devices that children with visual impairments who are very young or who have additional disabilities can utilize. These […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tips for Working with Special Needs Students Who Are College-Bound

Whether an individual’s special needs are physical, mental or psychological, they can run into many challenges when it comes to finding the right college. Depending on their disability, finding a college with the appropriate accommodations can be an overwhelming experience. It is possible for a student with special needs to feel stressed about certain things that other students may have an easier time achieving; like making it to class on time, navigating the hallways or […]