Parents of individuals with special needs often worry about their children’s future.
Most of these children would be dependent on others for life, and parents must start preparing for a time when they’d no longer be able to care for their special needs children.
Parents have to assess the resources available to provide for their special needs children, ranging from finances to potential caregivers.
Chairperson of Here I Am parents’ support group Dharshini Ganeson says parents must be practical and make financial arrangements for their special needs child, to the best of their abilities.
Parents also need to discuss the matter with their other children or relatives to plan the special needs child’s future after their demise.
Dharshini, whose 27-year-old daughter Preeya Nanthini has dyspraxia, shares some tips on making provisions for a special needs child.
Prepare a will
Make a will and ensure there are provisions for the special child in the event of the parents’ death. The administrator of the will, preferably a sibling, should manage the funds set aside for the special child. In the event that there is no sibling, the administrator can be a close relative or trustworthy individual.
Insurance policies with a savings plan
Insurance companies generally do not insure the life of a special child. Sign up for a savings plan under an insurance company with a fixed term, say over a period of twenty years. The parent can cash in on the policy and hold it for the special child and then further invest it for the future.
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Establish a trust fund
Those with assets can create a trust fund so the special child, or his carer, can receive a fixed sum of money each month.
In some countries, there are group homes and assisted living programmes, where special needs adults could live in homes supervised by the welfare department. However, it is still an unexplored area here. If siblings cannot take in his/her special brother or sister, they can make arrangements for them to live in private homes and be taken care of.
All special children, depending on their capabilities, should have some exposure to money and how to handle simple transactions.
As far as possible, teach the special needs child to be independent, be it learning living skills or getting job training. But many special needs children are dependent on others because of their impairments.