An Overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced and updated the No Child Left Behind Act in December 2015. It allowed state education programs more leeway in developing their curriculum and rolled back various items related to testing, teacher qualities, and requirements for lower performing schools. It also had an effect on students with special needs that parents should be familiar with. Significant Changes under Read More

5 Tips for Traveling with a Special Needs Child

Summer is officially upon us! And that means family vacations and fun in the sun. Traveling with any child can be a challenge, but special needs children sometimes present unique difficulties when it comes to vacationing or visiting relatives. However, you should not let your fear of dealing with your child’s needs on the road deter your vacation plans. Your child should get out and experience the world just as much Read More

5 Essential Components of an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required for special education services. This legal document sets out your child’s learning needs and outlines the services the school will provide to address those needs. It will also describe how progress will be measured as well. It is a highly important document as it will set the stage for how your child will succeed in school. Several people, including general Read More

Guest Blog: Will My Disabled Child Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Very often, we come across people who need help with Social Security benefits. It is upsetting to hear their struggles and frustrations with the system. So, when we come across a professional who has the experience and know-how to navigate through the maze of the government, we have to sit up and take notice. That professional is Kathleen Dotoli, Esq. Kathy is truly a dedicated attorney who has mastered her craft. Read More

Estate Planning Options for Families with a Special Needs Child

Families that have special needs children require special estate plans as well. Your estate plan should address issues related to ensuring that your child is fully taken care of while also maintaining eligibility for certain government programs and benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid. Having enough funds available can be a major concern, as well as issues dealing with treating other children fairly or Read More

A Wonderful IDEA: A Brief Introduction to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) helps children with disabilities throughout the United States. In fact, it helps states and other public agencies provide special education and services to 6.5 million children with disabilities. Under the IDEA, schools are required to evaluate students for learning disabilities and provide services for those who need it. The History of IDEA In 1975, Congress Read More

Guest Blog: Human Imperfections by Sue Shilling

There are many resources for parents who have special needs children. I was lucky enough to be asked to be on the Everything Special Needs radio show with Sue Shilling. She has some wonderful insight about what she does and I want to share that with all of you. As I sat and prepared for my year end retrospective for the year 2016 on the Everything Special Needs radio show, I went through a year's worth of shows and Read More

4 Diverse Life Challenges Inherent in Raising a Special Needs Child

Raising a special needs child is both challenging and rewarding, arduous and beautiful, and it is a labor of love in nearly every sense. But trust the testimony of those who have firsthand experience raising a special needs child—the love and fulfillment far outweigh the difficulties and struggles. Nonetheless, raising a special needs child inherently means you will have to anticipate and deal with unique and Read More

Financial Planning for Special Needs Parents 101, Part II

Today we will continue with our two-part blog on basic financial planning for parents of special needs children, which is part of a larger series meant to serve as a basic introduction to estate planning for special needs parents. In our last blog we introduced you to common terms and concepts associated with special needs financial planning. Today, we will cover a wide range of frequently asked questions that Read More

Financial Planning for Special Needs Parents 101, Part I

Whatever the nature of your child’s disability, one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you will always be able to provide for their needs is establish a comprehensive and meticulous financial plan. However, special needs financial planning can be incredibly complex, challenging, and discouraging if you don’t have proper guidance or a basic knowledge of the extensive nomenclature and concepts Read More