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Caring for AutismPractical Advice from a Parent and Physician$
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Michael Ellis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190259358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190259358.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 June 2021

Long-Term Planning and Legal Issues

Long-Term Planning and Legal Issues

(p.177) 10 Long-Term Planning and Legal Issues
Caring for Autism

Michael Ellis

Oxford University Press

Please be aware that I am not an attorney and the following information should not be considered legal advice. The information contained in this chapter is what I have learned as a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and as a doctor trying to help those with ASD navigate complex legal and financial decisions. I recommend all parents of children with ASD develop a relationship with a licensed attorney with experience in special needs in their jurisdiction. As this chapter details, there are many different legal issues you and your child may encounter as your child matures into adulthood. Having an attorney who is familiar with your specific situation and your child can be very reassuring should legal needs arise. If you have the financial capacity to place some funds in a retainer with an attorney so that they are available any time you need for a quick e-mail, phone call, or text message, it is often worth the expense and peace of mind. Parents can usually locate attorneys with experience in special needs by contacting their local bar associations, many of which maintain formal referral programs. Also, many autism support groups maintain lists of attorneys who specialize in various aspects of the law relevant to children with ASD. Your child’s medical providers may also be able to provide referrals. If you are like most parents of a child with ASD, you are over­whelmed with even the thought of long-term planning. You are likely thinking, “It is hard enough making it day by day, let alone considering long-term planning.” The truth is that most of us avoid thinking of the future because it is too frightening and uncertain. There is also little guidance from healthcare professionals on this very complex issue. However, much relief can be found in achieving a plan for your child’s future. Do not wait. It is important to talk with a financial planner when your child is young.

Keywords:   Autism Speaks, Bluebook, Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Medicaid, Social Security Administration (SSA), college savings plan, financial planning, guardianship, health insurance, legal issues, special needs trust

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