What is a Special Needs Trust & Why You Might Need One
Before my wife Emily and I welcomed our son Luca into the world, my knowledge of the special needs world was very limited. Sure I had spent years working as a Financial Planner but I could count on one hand the number of clients that I had who had a child, sibling, or grandchild with special needs. So when we received a surprise visit from the NICU pediatrician just a couple hours after Luca was born and she let us know that he had “several soft markers for Down syndrome”, it scared the shit out of me.
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
I really don’t think I understood this saying attributed to an old African proverb until we had our son, Luca, who has Down Syndrome. After we received his diagnosis at birth, we wanted to make sure we did everything possible to give him the best life. This meant really trying to take as much advantage as possible of our state’s program for babies with disabilities. So very early in Luca’s life, he received services through the Medicaid waiver called Babies Can’t Wait when we lived in Georgia, and Help Me Grow once we moved to Ohio.
The Crucial Special Needs Planning Document That You May Desperately Need But Have Never Heard of
All parents with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities know that they require our constant love, devotion, energy, compassion and patience. Sometimes when Emily and I are with our friends who only have typical children I find myself amazed at the amount of independence and self-reliance displayed by their children who are younger than our son with Down Syndrome, Luca. They are able to sit back and relax while Luca requires a lot more hand holding and motivation to play that same way. We know his breakthroughs will come though as we have already seen that persistence and patience as parents pay off with things like the swings and slides at the park, the swimming pool, and how the beach went from being a place of sensory overload and meltdowns for Luca to one of his favorite places in the world.
Why Special Needs Families Might Need to Consider Moving to a Different State
The second half of 2021 was pretty hectic for our family. After the house behind ours sold for 40% more than we had bought ours for just two years prior, we made the difficult decision to sell our house in the suburbs of Atlanta in order for us to be financially sound enough for me to quit my job and start Three Twenty One Financial Outfitters as I felt called to do. We had bought that house when Emily was pregnant with Luca and we intentionally looked in a specific school district that was known for more experiential learning, especially at the elementary school level. The house was much more square footage than we needed at the time and our plan was to stay there for 20+ years and continue to grow our family. When Luca was born and we received his surprise Down syndrome diagnosis, however, I knew immediately that we would need to reevaluate our plans.
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