Choosing Appropriate Gifts for Kids with Special Needs

Buying the perfect gift for kids and other loved ones can be challenging, and this can also be true when buying gifts for kids with autism. To help make your gift-giving easier, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for individuals with autism: Focus on the person’s interests and preferences Research shows that incorporating preferences into the learning and play environment of individuals with autism, can reduce behaviors and […]

Spread the Word

We think the world would be better if everyone were included. Around the world, exclusion and discrimination continue to divide people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are changing that with grassroots action for inclusion. That’s Spread the Word. Spread the Word is a global engagement campaign to increase inclusion amongst people with and without and developmental disabilities through grassroots action. In schools, workplaces, and communities around the world, local leaders are taking […]

Bullying and Children with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their […]

Increase in Developmental Disabilities Among Children in the United States

Pediatrics has published a new study that describes how often developmental disabilities were diagnosed among children in the United States, and trends over time. In this study, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) found that 17% of children aged 3–17 years had a developmental disability, and importantly, that this percentage increased over the two time periods compared, 2009–2011 and 2015–2017; increases were also […]

Assisted Living Options for Seniors With Disabilities

Seniors and people with disabilities often need supportive living options. When the time comes to start considering your options for assisted living, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of housing options. Not only are there different categories of assisted living to choose from, there are also a plethora of homes from which to choose. The right choice depends on a number of factors, including support needs, expense, and personal preference. Once a […]

ALS: ‘Unique’ cells could open up new avenues for therapy

By Maria Cohut Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to the death of nerve cells that control movement, leaving people unable to move and, eventually, to breathe. ALS is fatal and, so far, incurable. Can new findings bring hope for novel therapies? ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States alone. Still, its causes remain largely unknown. There is currently no cure, […]

Disability-Inclusive Communities

July 26, 2019 marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at work, school, or other community settings. Learn what CDC is doing to include people with disabilities in public health research and health promotion activities. An estimated 61 million people are living with a disability in the United States,1 and many people will experience a disability at some time […]

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 […]