Between 93 million and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability, some of the most common of which include ADHD, learning difficulties, visual and hearing impairments, and mobility disabilities. In some cases – for instance, when a child is born with cerebral palsy – a child’s needs can be ‘complex’ (that is, comprising more than one special need, and requiring a significant amount of 24/7 care). If you are a parent of a child with a disability, then advocating for their rights and wellbeing is, without a doubt, an important priority. Below are a few important steps to take to ensure your child is as independent, healthy and happy as possible.
Learning Your Legal Rights
In some cases, a disability such as cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice. This can occur, for instance, when a doctor fails to detect or properly treat infections, when they fail to detect fetal distress from lack of oxygen, or when they fail to schedule or perform a necessary cesarean section. If this, or another result of malpractice, resulted in your child’s diagnosis, then it is vital to see a cerebral palsy lawyer as soon as you can. If your lawsuit is successful, you can receive significant compensation, which will enable you to cover your child’s medical and special education needs, and pay for assistive devices, special care, and additional assistance and/or technology that can help improve your child’s independence and quality of life.
Making A Care Plan
A care plan is a key way to share information about your child with others. It includes vital information – including the medication your child takes, any special food requirements they may have, and what should be done for your child in the case of an emergency. This plan can be given to carers, health professionals, therapists, family members, and teachers, amongst other practitioners. You can also use it when your child visits their doctor, since it contains a plethora of vital information, including your child’s medical history.
Planning For Your Child’s Future
Many parents of children with a disability worry about what will happen to their child if/when they are no longer around. Government services in some countries (for instance, the Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicaid in the U.S.) can help provide for a child when their parents pass away. Parents can also purchase a life insurance policy, which will provide income for their child when they are no longer living. They may also decide to establish a special needs trust or to open special tax advantaged savings accounts, which will allow them to save up to a specific amount without losing vital benefits. Clearly, there are various legal and financial decisions to be made, which is why seeing a lawyer specializing in disabilities, as well as a special needs planner, can help you rest assured that your child will be financially alright in the future.
When you have a child with one or more special needs, taking practical steps to empower them is vital. You can start by ensuring any legal right to compensation is met. Doing so will enable your child to have access to a wide range of treatments, educational options, and therapies, which can enable them to make significant progress. Care plans and financial planning are also key, since they take your child’s future needs into account.