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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Living with a disability can be difficult for a child as well as for the entire family. A life care plan is a legal document that provides assistance and guidance for a child with disabilities over his or her lifetime.

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A plan like this is essential for children who have cognitive or physical disabilities that require various types of care including medical, rehabilitative and educational. Parents and other family members must address the ongoing and future needs of a child with a disability.

Understanding the Life Care Plan

This type of plan is a document that is a guideline for a person with disabilities and his family and caregivers. It provides details on how the financial costs associated with care are to be handled. It is designed to ensure that the person’s needs are completely taken care of so the child will have all of his or her needs provided for, even after the death of his parents or others who care for him. This information should be detailed in a plan that is put in place to ensure the comfort and health of the individual.

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What to Include in a Life Care Plan

The care document should be as inclusive as possible so that it covers all the current and anticipated needs of the disabled person. In order to create a good plan, a group of professionals should be assembled to discuss the specific needs of the person. This group may include medical experts, specialists, and educators who have input into what the child needs and will need as he grows up. The plan doesn’t end when the child becomes an adult but continues throughout his lifetime.

Some important things to include are:

  • Medical professionals who provide care
  • List of medical procedures that will be needed in the future
  • Rehabilitative requirements
  • Speech and occupational therapy details
  • Estimate of caregiver expenses
  • Home adaptive measures
  • Educational requirements and anticipated expenses
  • Transportation costs

Special Needs Trust

A trust is a legal way to set up funds that will provide for a loved one, such as a person with special needs. A special needs trust ensures that money and other assets are set aside specifically for the care of a disabled family member. A trustee must be named to oversee the trust to provide for the needs of the named person. Funds cannot be directly given to the disabled person because that could jeopardize the qualifications for monetary governmental support. Instead, the funds can be spent to provide care and treatment as needed.

It is important to understand the financial ramifications of the choices made for your disabled child. Speak with a qualified financial advisor or attorney to learn about the choices available to you. For example, if your child has more than $2,000 in his or her name it could prevent the child from getting important benefits from Medicaid. Instead, some people hold the money is a separate account or in the account of a sibling. It is much better to establish a trust for the child so that the money is protected for use when it is needed.

Future Considerations of the Life Care Plan Some of the most important parts of the plan are the future estimated costs and developmental goals for the future. The goals that are set are defined by the child’s abilities in mind with the hopes that as an adult he or she will continue to make advancements. Assistance is available for families of children with disabilities. The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, DDC, is part of a national network that helps those with disabilities and their families remain an integral part of the community. This organization and others are dedicated to helping those with disabilities become productive members of the community. It is helpful to find out more about the opportunities and resources available when creating a plan. Although families may find it difficult to deal with the emotional stress of a disabled child, it is important to consider the current and future needs of the child as he or she goes through life. While life won’t be conventional, it can be made comfortable and happy by ensuring that all of the child’s needs are properly taken care of both now and in the future.