New York Autism Lawyers
It has been estimated that one in 110 children – and one in 70 boys – is diagnosed as having autism. The U.S. government estimates, furthermore, that prevalence of this disorder is increasing by 10 to 17 percent annually. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. have autism, and a leading autism not-for-profit reports that it is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS together.
The activism of individuals with autism and their families has resulted in legal protections, benefit programs, and social services designed to meet many educational, medical, and economic needs. Also, the general public is increasingly aware of the challenges faced by individuals with autism, and social acceptance is improving. But a great deal remains to be done.
Our New York autism attorneys have been highly successful in helping families ensure that their loved ones with autism obtain the “free and appropriate” education to which they are entitled. We have a long history of preparing parents to advocate for their children’s rights, and we’re adept at both forging collaborative relationships with school districts and, when necessary, challenging their decisions.
When your child has autism, you must prepare your estate plan with extra care. It should address questions of guardianship and include detailed instructions – a letter of intent – for anyone who may assume that role.
Because public benefits such as Medicaid and SSI (Social Security Income) will probably be key to your child’s financial well-being – yet don’t cover many expenses commonly deemed necessities – you should establish a supplemental fund. A special needs trust – sometimes called a supplemental needs trust – is a vehicle that will enable you to set aside funds to enhance your child’s lifestyle without affecting eligibility for government programs.
NY Autism Attorneys
When an individual with autism turns 18, she is legally considered an adult, regardless of the severity of disability. If your child will be unable to make important life decisions, you should begin the process of filing for guardianship around the age of 17. By her mid-teens, you should begin transition planning in preparation for graduation from high school, at which point, many of the social services to which she has become accustomed will change. You, your child, and her network of support should explore further educational options, the possibility of a career, and residential preferences—all the factors that comprise the entry to adulthood.
Our New York autism attorneys believe in your child’s right to realize her aspirations. They have the experience and skill to partner with you to provide your loved one with the opportunities that you dream of. Contact us now to learn how we can help.