After my daughter with autism turned 18, there were several things that I had to do for her future. Many of those things started well before she turned 18 and that included financial planning. But this one thing? This is one of the most important steps I took for my daughter’s future. Thanks to ABLEnow® for sponsoring this conversation. I’m thrilled to be able to speak with you about it.
My Best piece of advice for parents who have just received an autism diagnosis
I want to start this by sharing a little bit of advice with you. This may seem like unnecessary advice. However, it’s one of those things that I’d wish I’d known about before.
And it’s as simple as this: if you can start future planning? Do it now.
That means sorting out all of the hopes, dreams, and possibilities for your child’s future.
Write them all down and get it all on paper. Keep it realistic but also positive. After all, you never know what will happen.
For my daughter, being non-verbal and on the more severe end of the autism spectrum; some may have said that her future was somewhat bleak. As a parent, I was looking ahead at having her live with me for the rest of her life. And when she was first diagnosed? This was a pretty big pill to swallow.
But we persevered.
And I went into full on planning (and future planning) mode. I had pages upon pages in a notebook full of the possibilities and what would or could happen.
Of course, I wouldn’t know for certain until we got there. But, one thing I did know for certain? The future was going to come whether I was prepared for it or not.
The One important step all parents can take for their child’s future
As mentioned above, one of the first things that I started doing was future planning. That mostly meant the non-tangible things, at least for the time being. But, once she turned 16, it was time to really get serious and down to business.
While I knew that SSI, or supplemental security income, would always be a part of her financial plans; I also knew that there had to be something else in place.
And that was when I started looking for more options. Something like an ABLEnow account, which is available in all 50 states to eligible individuals. ABLEnow accounts can help eligible individuals save in tax-advantaged accounts that can help pay for a variety of qualified disability expenses. Everything can be done online so ABLEnow really makes it simple for an account to be set up.
And, until 12/15/19 ABLEnow is holding a special sweepstakes to win a $1,000 contribution to your ABLEnow account! Enter the giveaway here.
How else can you secure your child’s future?
Think about the amount of money you probably delegate towards gifts. For us, it doesn’t make sense to buy a lot of toys anymore. Mainly because my daughter’s interests haven’t changed much over the years. That’s not a bad thing though, you know? She’s more than happy with small fidget items, trips to the museum, and chocolate chip cookies.
For family and friends, however, I’m now going to let them know that they can also make an impact for her future when they gift a donation to her ABLEnow account. They can do this without endangering her eligibility for certain disability benefits.
Having a child with special needs is often a roller coaster of experiences from the moment you receive a diagnosis. You will feel many things and you will undergo a lot of changes. Some of those will be big and challenge you to the fullest extent. Some of those will be small and still challenge you.
All of them have the potential to be life changing.
While you may not be able to predict the future? You can take steps to help secure the future. And that includes the one simple step of setting up an ABLEnow account.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ABLEnow.