Legal - Special Needs Adoption

Special Needs Adoption
Special Needs Adoption
Creating a Legal Plan for Your Child’s Future
There is no “one size fits all” approach that parents of a child diagnosed within the “autism spectrum” should take as the child approaches their 18th birthday. The abilities and the needs of each child are unique and should be evaluated to create...
I&RS vs. 504 Accommodation Plan vs. IEP
You’ve heard about the I&RS Plan and the 504 Accommodation Plan as well as the IEP, but what are these documents? How are they different? When are they relevant to your child? And most importantly, how do you get one if you need one? Let’s...
Financial Gifts for Children with Special Needs
It is a grandparent’s right to spoil the grandchildren. But if your grandchildren have special needs, giving them large financial gifts may have unintended consequences.  Many grandparents of children with special needs are worried about...
Financial Planning: What You Need to Know from the Experts
Merrill Edge, which started in 2010, has announced some new programs that will help parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs.  Specially trained financial advisors have the tools to help families with special needs that do not...
Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
Do you know your rights when it comes to medical malpractice and cerebral palsy?  Cerebral palsy a serious injury that occurs before, during, or just after birth; causes include lack of oxygen to the brain, head trauma, infection, or premature...
More States Updating Autism Insurance Reform
Nearly 75 percent of states in the U.S. are reforming insurance benefits for children with autism.  These reforms will include ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, as an approved treatment for autism. With one in 88 children being diagnosed with...
NYC Department of Education Planning Changes to Special Ed
New York City is behind only Washington, D.C. for the worst record in the United States regarding integrating special needs students in mainstream classrooms.  The city plans to align NYC with other school districts by including more special ed...
Special Needs Parenting: Planning for Retirement
An estimated 58 percent of Americans die without a will.  Life expectancy for individuals with special needs has increased significantly; for example, adults with Down syndrome now live to about 60, an increase from age 25 in 1983.  With...
Bank of America’s Merrill Edge Launches Program to Help Families with Special Needs Children
May 29, 2012 -- Bank of America announced today that Merrill Edge will launch a new program that offers parents and caregivers in mass affluent families the advice and guidance to help prepare them financially to take care of a loved one with...
IEP Goals for Children with Autism
The IEP is an important tool for educating children with autism.  IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan, and the “individualized” is a key term.  One goal that is ideal for one child is not the best for another child.  However...
How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting
It’s the time that parents refer to as “IEP season,” and many parents face it with a mixture of hope and apprehension.  The IEP is an individualized document designed to outline goals and treatment plans for children with special needs. ...
Do I Really Need a Will?
There are many good reasons to create a Last Will and Testament (Will) prior to death. First, it allows you to specify who will inherit your estate. In the absence of a Will (or a trust or other arrangement to pass your assets at death), a state law...
A Special Needs Planning Timeline: 9 Steps to a Sound Family Plan
Planning for the future well-being of your children is a daunting task for any parent.  Add the complexity of adequately providing for the future care of a son or daughter with special needs and the process becomes exponentially more...
SSI Benefits for Children with Disabilities
The Social Security Administration, or SSA, offers some benefits for children with disabilities.  SSI, or Social Security Income, is typically paid to adults who are 65 and older and who meet low income and limited resources requirements;...
Governor Cuomo: Protecting the Disabled
News reports of abuse against individuals with disabilities have been exploding across the news.  Stories of children being left on the bus, subjected to electroshock therapy, and even parents sending kids to school with a wire because of...
The Future of Special Needs Care
While the special needs population continues to grow, government funding is decreasing.  In late March 2012, the CDC announced that 1 in 88 children have autism, and a research study estimated the annual cost of autism in the United States is $...
L.A. to Pay $2.1 Million in Legal Fees
The Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay $2.1 million in legal fees to a disability group for neglecting to include evacuation procedures for individuals with disabilities. The nonprofit organization Communities Actively Living Independent and...
Legislature to Limit Patient Costs for Therapy
Legislation is pending in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York for limiting the amount insurers can charge patients for physical, speech, and occupational therapy.  South Dakota and Kentucky lawmakers have already passed laws regarding these...
Shock Therapy: Treatment or Torture?
Most people have heard about shock therapy treatments, a popular method of treating individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders in the 40s and 50s.  What many people don’t know is this treatment is still used. Researchers are unsure...
What is a Special Needs Trust Fund?
Many families of children with special needs make the common mistake of not setting up a trust fund.  The families think that there is no need to since they are still healthy and young, or they think it may be a waste since they do not have a...
What is a Living Revocable Trust?
No one likes to think about the circumstances that can take their life, especially when they have young children at home.  Sadly, situations can occur, and if the proper procedures are not taken while you were still alive, it can cause a lot of...
Reasons Not to Hire a Special Needs Attorney
In the fight for your child’s special education, there may be issues along the way.  While special education was designed to meet children’s unique learning needs, there are many times when a certain teacher or the school board cause more harm...
Types of Special Needs Trust Funds
The whole purpose of a special needs trust fund, which can also be referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is to provide financial support for a disabled person without disqualifying them from receiving government assistance.  Trust funds...
Setting Up a Special Needs Trust Fund
Life is unpredictable, especially if you are a parent of a child with special needs.  The one thing that should not be unpredictable is what would happen to your child if anything were to happen to you.  Making the proper plans now by...
Appointing a Trustee for Your Trust Fund
Appointing a Trustee for Your Special Needs Trust Fund Setting up a trust fund for your child with special needs is the best thing you can do to ensure that his or her future is secure in the unlikely event of something happening to you or your...
How a Special Needs Attorney Can Help You
When it comes to hiring a special needs attorney, there are many things to consider.  A special education attorney can be a lifesaver when it comes to complex cases or special education cases that require a lot of time and energy.  The...
Why Do You Need a Special Needs Attorney?
As a parent, there are going to be many times when you have to fight for your child’s education.  This fight is even more prevalent if you are a parent of a special needs child or a child with a learning disability.  Many times you will be...
Suitable Housing Options for Your Special Needs
Suitable housing is one of the most important factors for independent living for persons with special needs.  It can also be one of the most expensive, both in terms of capital investment and annual costs.  Use a business approach to...
Appealing Denials of Insurance Coverage
Appealing Denials of Insurance Coverage for Medical Treatment Your child’s health insurance carrier has denied coverage for a certain medical procedure or treatment.  What’s your next step? Most insurance companies have an appeals process...
Autism Coverage Bills
With the rise of autism awareness comes further state legislature for autism medical coverage.  Both Florida and Michigan have passed autism coverage bills for review.  These bills are intended to help families in need pay for necessary...
Adopting a Child with Special Needs
Whether single or married, raising biological children or other adopted children, potential adoptive families are guided by their desire to make a difference in a child’s life, which is a wonderful starting point. Successfully parenting a child with...
Why I Filed a Child Abuse Report
Original article posted on Redwood City PatchWhy I Filed a Child Abuse Report Against a Special Ed AideBy Dorie Johnson, as told to Redwood City Patch Editor Stacie Chan(Editor’s Note: Dorie Johnson was a former employee of the Redwood City...
Budget Cuts Hurt Special Needs Programs
In the current economic climate, it is easy to assume that schools are sacrificing everything but the kitchen sink, and the lives of special needs students are no exception. According to CBC news, a Winnipeg School Division cut $900,000 from the...
Is Restraining Children in School Unethical?
When we drop off our kids at school, we assume they are in a safe environment.  While nearly every institution has a code regarding seclusions and restraints, most parents don’t stop to think such tactics will be used on their children. Civil...
Is Lying Against a Doctor's Moral Code?
According to Arizona state officials, no it’s not.  The new legislature, which states that doctors who fail to clearly articulate an unborn child’s risk of birth defects are protected against malpractice suits, is meant to prevent women from...
Protecting Assets for Child with a Disability
Estate planning and lifetime planning for parents with a child with a disability present special challenges. The goals of the parents are to utilize their assets in such away to enrich their child’s life while, at the same time, preserving the child...
Planning for Health Care Decision Making
Planning for health care decision making includes two key components:1. Preparation of a written advance directive, more commonly referred to as a living will, durable health care power of attorney, or health care proxy.2. Appointing someone to be...
Self-Funded Special Needs Trusts
What is a Self-Funded Special Needs Trust? A trust is a legal document that provides for the control and distribution of assets held by a "trustee" for the benefit of another (the "beneficiary"). The assets in a trust may be money, stocks,...
Using RtI Data to Get Ready for IEP Season
Now that the holidays are done and even though it is not yet Spring, the time is now to get ready for what is commonly known as "IEP season." While the thought of the next annual review or domains meeting to decide on a round of evaluations may be...
Navigating Types of Special Needs Trusts
Special needs trusts generally fall into one of two categories, and the treatment and effect of any given trust varies depending on which kind of trust is involved. This has led to a tremendous amount of confusion and, in some cases, a significant...
Special Education Advocates
When a parent of a special needs child becomes increasingly frustrated, experiencing roadblocks in their efforts to intercede with their child’s school to access educational supports and services for their child, a consultation with a Special...
Special Education Advocacy and Charter Schools
Operating pursuant to a charter granted either by a local educational or the State Board of Education, charter schools are primary or secondary schools created by interested agencies and individuals and receive public money for the students who...
The Importance of Independent Educational Evaluations
Evaluations, also called assessments in some states, provide valuable information regarding the nature and extent of your child’s disability as well as the impact the condition may have on his or her education. Strengths and weaknesses identified...
The IEP Process: What You Need to Know
Beginning at age 3 and throughout your child’s education, if you suspect that your child has special needs, he/she may be eligible for support from the local school district. To determine such, assessments must be conducted, which can be requested...
Three Steps To Better IEP Goals
Clear and measurable goals are the key to a successful IEP. Here are three steps to assure better goals in your child’s IEP. Understand Your Child’s Current Functioning Review your child’s homework and tests to compare his work with grade level...
IEP or 504 Plan: Which is Right For Your Child?
When a student qualifies for special education, the school district is required to develop an individual education program or “IEP” for the student. The IEP must include the basis for special education eligibility, measurable goals and objectives,...
Transition Plans Matter
Transition plans are a vital part of an IEP document for any student over the age of sixteen. In California, the state law requires that no later than age sixteen, a student’s IEP must include appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals and...
The Individual Education Plan
Federal and state law mandate a free appropriate public education tailored to the unique needs of the student. Many parents have come to know this free appropriate public education as the painfully traumatic Individual Educational Plan, or IEP. The...
The Individual Education Plan
Federal and state law mandate a free appropriate public education tailored to the unique needs of the student. Many parents have come to know this free appropriate public education as the painfully traumatic Individual Educational Plan, or IEP. The...
Special Education Advocates
When a parent of a special needs child becomes increasingly frustrated, experiencing roadblocks in their efforts to intercede with their child’s school to access educational supports and services for their child, a consultation with a special...
Special Education Advocacy and Charter Schools
Operating pursuant to a charter granted either by a local educational or the State Board of Education, charter schools are primary or secondary schools created by interested agencies and individuals and receive public money for the students who...
The Importance of Independent Educational Evaluations
Evaluations, also called "assessments" in some states, provide valuable information regarding the nature and extent of your child’s disability as well as the impact the condition may have on his or her education. Strengths and weaknesses identified...
Three Steps to Better IEP Goals
Clear and measurable goals are the key to a successful IEP. Here are three steps to assure better goals in your child’s IEP. 1.   Understand Your Child’s Current Functioning  Review your child’s homework and tests to compare his...
IEP or 504 Plan: Which is Right for Your Child?
When a student qualifies for special education, the school district is required to develop an individual education program or “IEP” for the student. The IEP must include the basis for special education eligibility, measurable goals and objectives,...
Transition Plans Matter
Transition plans are a vital part of an IEP document for any student over the age of sixteen. In California, the state law requires that no later than age sixteen, a student’s IEP must include appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals and...
Why and When to Choose a Non-Public School
The “Three R’s” are a well-worn cliché of education, and often the traditional neighborhood school will meet your child’s needs. But if you think your special needs child needs more help than their district school is providing, or the district is...
Support for the Transition to Adulthood
For young adults with special needs, the transition from high school to adult life brings a new set of opportunities and challenges. Your child must have a transition plan by age 16. Beginning to plan early will increase his opportunity to achieve...
Learning Disabilties and the Juvenile Justice System: Some Food for Thought
Imagine what it must be like for a young person with learning disabilities to be apprehended and questioned by the police. Immediately, your fear and nervousness makes your impairment more acute, and you do a poor job in answering questions. Already...
First Five Steps in Special Needs Planning
What is special needs planning? The focus of special needs planning is to protect and secure the future of our loved ones with disabilities.Through special needs planning, we work to preserve and maximize needs-based public benefits, such as...