This is a guest post, authored by DisabledParents.org, a site dedicated to assisting parents who have disabilities.
Raising and caring for a special needs child is incredibly rewarding and enriching. Boston University notes, however, that it’s not without its challenges. Ensuring that your child can enjoy the highest possible quality of life will take a bit of planning, and depending upon the nature and severity of your child’s special needs, the financial burden can be relatively impressive as well.
As such, the name of the game when it comes to planning for a life of caring for your special needs child properly is support. Some of this support will come from you, in the form of financial resources and physical supports. Other times, this support will come from your community, through organizations and from those closest to you, who become invaluable in raising and caring for a child with special needs.
Making the appropriate accommodations to your life can seem like a huge challenge, but the right strategies can make it relatively simple. Here are a few of the best ways to ensure that your special needs child will be planned for and taken care of well into the future.
Think About Home Accommodations
Different special needs children come along with different requirements, in terms of accommodations and additions that must be made to the home in order to ensure a proper quality of life.
For example, if your special needs child requires a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility, it might be smartest to adjust the doorways throughout the house, allowing for easier passage. AARP suggests this can cost anywhere from $200 to thousands of dollars, depending on how much restructuring is involved.
Ramps would also be a requirement in this specific scenario. HomeAdvisor notes installation can cost the average homeowner $1,851. Important to remember, though, is that these accommodations are permanent. They last a good while, which is why they’re a smart investment.
Take Financial Steps, Immediately
Don’t put off the financial obligations that go hand-in-hand with caring for a special needs child. Sorting your finances will set you and your child up for a successful future, in terms of adaptations you need to make, health care, education, and peace of mind. Sometimes the financial aspects of care can be quite significant, so you’ll want to have a plan that keeps you covered in just about any potential scenario.
Sit down and spend time identifying the specific goals that ensure a proper quality of life for your child, both now and in the future. You’ll want to cover things like taking out a life insurance policy, establishing an emergency fund, and visiting with an estate attorney. An attorney can help you establish what will happen in the event you’re unable to provide care.
Have a Trusted Guardian in Place
Your support system will go a long way towards making sure that your special needs child is cared for properly in any instance where you might wind up being absent. Anything from traveling to a serious sickness might make it tough for you to care for your child, and in the event that something serious happens, a trusted guardian can step in and provide the necessary care.
Involve this guardian in your plans and protocols, keeping them informed on your child’s unique needs so they can step in and seamlessly provide the same level of attention that you do when you’re running the show.
Proper Planning Gives You Peace of Mind
Life with a special needs child can be a bit unpredictable. But when a plan is in place, a lot of that unpredictability is swiftly replaced with peace of mind. Financial security and foresight go a long way, and home accommodations will ensure that your child continues to enjoy the proper quality of life. Finally, the right support system will ensure that the gaps are filled in, no matter what.
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