Below is a couple of checklists intended to help parents of speical needs children.
Divorce Checklists for Special Needs Children
□ Medicines and non prescription supplements / treatments
□ Medical equipment
□ Modified equipment
Wheelchair / Stroller
Leg Braces / Orthotics
Communication Aids: Assistive technology, symbol cards, recording devices
DVD players & special movies / visuals
CD players & special music / books on tape
Backpacks/ Fanny packs / ID carry holder
Pillows, bed pads, waterproof aids
Kitchen aids for processing meals
Environmental control devices and switches
Special clothing (diapers, support hose, shoes, etc.)
□ Emergency Contact List
□ List of Medicines, Medical History, Allergies, Preferred Hospital & Pharmacy
□ Letter of Authorization to Act with Power of Attorney in Medical Emergency
Parenting Plan Checklist:
□ Have the parents each develop a “MAP” of the child’s future quality of life:
Mapping is the process of creating a written plan of action to help parents achieve the best possible future for their child. The written plan is not fixed. It is an ever-changing flexible blue print. It adjusts according to need and ever-changing circumstances. It describes what is important to and for the child in everyday life. It includes information about the child’s likes and dislikes; important people in their life; dreams; etc.
– Have a place where it is all written down
– Help others to know the child better (used by people who support)
– Help with long-term planning and life transitions (e.g. school to work)
– Figure out what is important to a person and what types of supports make sense.
– Use info to create supports and recruit providers of services
– Remind parents where they’ve been and where they’re going
– Determine a course of action (continually changing) to achieve long- term goals
– A just in case plan
□ Create a practical process for resolving differences between parents concerning nature, degree and delivery of treatments and interventions for educational, medical, behavioral, cognitive, physical, emotional, developmental needs of the child. Will they submit their disputes to arbitration, court jurisdiction, a family relative, a school official, a medical professional, etc?
□ Enable parents to process the disability and ensure they access the abundance of resources that exist from organizations, schools, doctors, the internet, parent support groups, etc.
□ Create a full and extensive list of the special needs child’s supports and services:
Insurance coverage and access to claims processing and reimbursements
Routine reimbursable insurance claims that need to be filed and when / where
Non-routine items requiring pre approval and deadlines for submittal : when /where
Tracking reimbursements and explanation of benefit statements from insurers
Tracking out of pocket items
Application forms and deadlines for applying for Social Security or other Agency benefits (depending on disability)
Redetermination / renewals for such benefits if eligible
Involvement directly with school / special education system: consultants, teachers, IEP Team (Individual Educational Planning Team mandated under federal legislation IDEA that sets forth substantive and procedural rights for children with disabilities and their parents)
Repetition and timing of ongoing or repeat assessments for requalification of supports & services as required
Assignment of who is responsible for legal, medical and educational decisions
Training of noncustodial parent in the needs and care of their child
Modification of noncustodial home and environment as required for visitation
Supervision by or availability of additional person (knowledgeable about the special needs child) to accompany the child when travelling between parents as needed
Estate planning for their child: conservator, guardian, advocate, trustee, fiduciary, etc.
Resources for Families:
Sample Letter of Intent: A checklist that shows parents how to communicate their wishes and knowledge about their child with a disability to future care givers
Special Needs Estate Planning Guidance System: Information to help families understand the special needs planning process and work with qualified attorneys; includes state specific information, resources, and protocols
A Family Handbook on Future Planning: A handbook from the ARC that helps families develop future plans for their children with cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities that include protections after parents die or can no longer provide care or support
Guardianship: Your Rights: All people have a right to self-determination. Information about the practical, day to day exercise of the right to self determination for all persons with disabilities.
Child Support and Financial Issues:
□ Child Support Guidelines Amount
□ Deviation Considerations:
Cost of medical, dental, vision insurances
Cost of un-reimbursable expenses
Out of pocket expenses
Specialized child care / respite care
Modifications to homes
Siblings child care
Legal fees / Advocacy expenses
Special dietary / nutritional foods
Private Tuition / Room & Board
Tutoring / mentoring
Habilitation services (Residential and nonresidential) / facility / group home / roommate expenses
After school programs
Adaptive devices and furniture
Vocational programs / coaches / aides: Supported work programs
Help with coordinating all services
Medical reports, test results, diagnoses, location of majority of records
Evaluations, assessments, consultations (medical, emotional , psychological, behavioral, communication)
Treatment plans and intervention strategies
Therapy evaluations and exercises
Medication & Other schedules
Historical recordkeeping of prescriptions: efficacy and side effects
Educational assessments and IEP reports
Child’s safety plans for home, school, day programs, community, etc.
Bills, reimbursement forms and claims
Documentation of all costs
Bank accounts and records / bill paying services
Private Company Insurance Card
State Insurance Card
Student ID Card
Estate Planning documents
Power of Attorney
Guardianship / Conservatorship
Health Care Proxy
Letter of Intent
Letter of Authorization
Public and Private Agency Supports and Services:
Case Worker and Agency
Transition Coordinators from School and Agency
Social Case Worker
Day Program, Residential Home, Vocational Program Contacts / Facilitators
Visiting Nurse, Aides, etc.
Registration with local town police and fire departments about disabled person in residence
Registration with local town human services department for social services
Registration for special transportation / handicap rides
Eligibility for Public Benefits:
SSI rules about disability:
The child must not be working and earning more than $1,101 a month in 2012
The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations”.
The child’s condition must have been disabling, or expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or must expected to result in death.
A review is performed at least every 3 years for children younger than age 18 whose conditions are expected to improve; or at any time even if the child’s condition is not expected to improve.
SSDI rules about Disability:
The Social Security Disability Insurance benefits program (SSDI) pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before they were 22 years old. The SSDI is considered a “child’s benefit” because it is paid on the parent’s Social Security earnings record.
For as disabled child to become entitled to this “child” benefit, one of his or her parents:
Must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
Must have died and worked long enough under Social Security.
SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as the individual remains disabled. Benefits may be payable also to the parent of the adult “disabled” child if he or she was disabled before age 18.