This is an open letter to Parents, Grandparents, Caregivers, and Siblings of individuals with disabilities:
Dear Concerned Loving Ones,
What if today you were asked this question:
What are the most pressing concerns you have for your special needs child?
What would your answers be?
This is a question we always ask the families we work with, and we consistently hear the following answers:
- How do we provide safety and well-being for our loved ones now and in the future?
- What future opportunities will be available?
- What future obstacles or challenges will we face?
- How do we address the financial stressors of our special needs family?
- Who can we count on today and in the future to be helpful?
- What is going to happen when we are no longer here?
These critical questions can linger for years, waiting for answers and solutions. They are stressful topics to think about, but facing them head-on can actually eliminate a lot of stress.
So how do we begin to find the answers and take actions for finally resolving these concerns and putting them behind us?
Maybe the search for answers begins with family or support group members, or friends or work colleagues who have experienced the same questions and have found the help to move forward with solutions.
But the search for answers also involves working with specialists and professionals who understand these concerns and know how to address them. Experienced special needs planners have a distinctive approach to help guide families in answering these questions and a thoughtful process that helps them take the important, necessary actions to resolve them.
That is all well and good, but one key observation over the years is that the biggest obstacle to success in special needs planning is simply making the time. All families today are busier and more over-scheduled than ever, and that is even more so for families where an individual has a disability.
And so even with the best of intentions, proactive planning often takes a back-seat to the day-to-day challenges of school, work, therapies, doctor’s appointments, social skills groups, and other routine obligations. That’s why there needs to be a pause when the stresses and strains of everyday life can put on hold for even just half an hour. It may seem like it’s just one more “to do” on your list but every family who does so can attest to how it actually takes some of these worries off of their plate.
So take a breath. Take a baby step. Have a conversation. The right time is now.