The number of children younger than 18 in the United States who receive special education services has grown tremendously, but many of these parents are still worried about being able to provide lifetime care for their children.
And a large percentage of these caregivers do not know how to set up a trust to preserve eligibility for these benefits. Most say there is too little information available about financial assistance, and that the information is too difficult to find.
Because of these difficulties, professionals who specialize in this field have offered their help. Sylvie Brockman and Elizabeth Hobson, both from CPlanning, along with David Henderson from Learning RX, will sponsor a free seminar called “Finding Funds for Special Needs Families.”
“We will talk about financial programs from diagnosis to adulthood,” Hobson said.
Hobson, a Michigan native, knows first-hand the challenges of raising a child with special needs.
“I noticed something was different about my son, and we had been to three different preschools with the hope of finding the right fit. I saw how bright he was, and although most of his affections were held in, he truly wanted to connect with his friends and family,” she said. “He was diagnosed with autism by kindergarten, and I made the choice to take time away from my doctoral program to help him succeed. After years of speech, physical and occupational therapy, along with academic and social skills training, he is now taking honors courses in school and has taught himself five instruments.”
Hobson said many of the families are stuck somewhere in the middle: They do not qualify for income-based benefits, and medical care can be a toll even for the most affluent families. Most families are unaware of the resources available, many of which are not based on income.
Topics at this seminar will include CAP programing, Medicaid, private insurance and NCHIPP, as well as grants for special-needs private school tuition, 529 plans, SSI and transition planning.
“My children are now 11, 14 and 15, and doing well,” Hobson said. “Early-intervention services are not always covered by insurance, and when covered there are typically large deductibles and co-payments to be met. It is my goal for every family to access early-intervention services and provide a lifetime continuum of care. The greatest joy in our practice is seeing parents take a breath, enjoy their child, and leave our office knowing there is a sustainable plan in place, no matter what life brings their way.”
Linda Doherty is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to go?
“Finding Funds for Special Needs Families” will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Learning RX building’s community room, 10030 Edison Square Drive, NW, Concord. Space is limited; please RSVP to Sylvie Brockman: sbrockman@CPlanning.com or 704-240-7806.