The Art Of Raising A Child With Additional Needs Confidently


Between 93 million and 150 million children live with a disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., common developmental disabilities include autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, genetic disorders, and intellectual disabilities. Some children with disabilities can be described as having ‘complex needs’. This means that they may need plenty of additional support on a daily basis – either from birth or as a result of an illness or injury. If you have a child with additional needs, how can you ensure that you find them the very best care so they can grow and thrive independently while accessing the care they need?


Becoming Legally Savvy

It’s important to know your full legal rights when you have a child with additional needs, since you may be eligible for aid that can make life significantly easier or more practical. One piece of legislation to be aware of is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period. The act covers lifelong conditions like cerebral palsy (CP); indeed, you can find more information in the FMLA CP guide, which covers the rights of parents with CP, but which also holds value for any family that is able to rely on the FMLA.


Social Security And Other Benefits

Section 111.000 of the Social Security Disability Evaluation describes different conditions that can qualify for social security benefits. Ask Social Security about the required documents and information they will need from you if you think you are eligible for aid. Just a few disorders that are usually approved for social security aid include severe emotional problems and disorders, cerebral palsy, those with spinal cord disorders, and those with communication impairments. The requirements for each specific condition are stipulated, so you can ensure your child is eligible. You may also be eligible for child care – the Child Care Subsidy Program, for instance, provides free childcare to low-income families whose parents are able to show that they are going to school or work for a minimum number of hours per week. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, meanwhile, gives states and territories grants to provide financial assistance and support to families in need.


Choosing The Best School For Your Child

Children with complex needs usually require special education assistance, which they are entitled to receive at a public school under The Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004. Usually, your child will be placed under a specific plan – for instance, an Individualized Education Program or an Individualized Transition Plan. You should also ensure that your child has a wide variety of options when it comes to extracurricular activities. Check out organizations specializing in your child’s condition, as they will have various types of assistance on offer – including summer camps, gatherings, and advocacy meetings and events.

When raising a child with additional or complex needs, it is important to inform yourself regarding all possible options with respect to aid, education and care. You can reduce your childcare expenses by applying to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, or by signing up for the Child Care Subsidy Program if you meet all the requirements.



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