Parent of a Child with a Disability? How to Prepare for the Future

It can be hard to see your child struggling, especially when they struggle with something they cannot control like a disability. When it looks like a child will not be able to live independently later on, as well, then the future can seem bleak. As parents, we may not always be able to be there for our children, but here are a few ways you can make sure your child with a disability will have the support they need despite their circumstances.

Teach Life Skills

With therapy and education, many people with disabilities can live independently or in a group home. Helping your child to achieve independence is the best investment you can make for his future and yours. Life skills classes can help your child learn how to cook, clean, and take care of household tasks. If your child can handle a job, a program that finds employment for people with disabilities can give her not only an income but also confidence and a sense of purpose.

Name a Guardian

If your child is not able to live independently, it’s important to name a guardian who can take over custody if you die or become incapacitated. If no one is willing or able to take over custody, you may choose instead to create a fund that will cover a nursing home or other institutional care.

Set Up a Trust

Whether you have a large inheritance to leave or are getting by paycheck to paycheck, creating a financial plan for your child’s future is vital. If you can afford to, consider opening a trust fund for your child that will become available when you are no longer able to care for him. Establish a trustworthy manager for the fund to ensure that it’s used responsibly for your child’s needs.

Apply for Services

The costs of caring for a child with special needs can put a financial strain on even middle class families. It’s important to look into and apply for any services for which your child may be eligible. For example, the NDIS is a national insurance program that provides financial support for people with disabilities. A registered NDIS plan management provider can take care of making payments, processing claims, and other tasks for NDIS beneficiaries.

Parenting a child with disabilities is a lifelong challenge, but taking steps now to ensure your child’s future is provided for can give great peace of mind. Whether your child is 5 or 50, sit down with your family today and start planning for the years ahead.

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