Childhood disabilities entail a range of immediate and long-term economic costs that have important implications for the well-being of the child, the family, and society, but that are also difficult to measure. There are several direct out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of the child’s disability, indirect costs incurred by the family as it decides how best to cope with the disability, and long-term costs associated with the child’s future economic performance.
Not surprisingly, due to high direct and indirect costs for families with children with disabilities, decisions about employment can become stressful. Several studies show that having a child with disabilities increases the likelihood that the mother will either curtail hours of work or stop working altogether.
Special Programs and Financial Relief
When a parent is faced with caring for their child or young adult with special needs, you want to make sure they are able to get the most out of their education and have experiences to enrich their life. Many government programs exist to help children of all ages further their development. Children with special needs may not always be able to take advantage of all the programs that schools and the government have to offer. However, there are many programs that were created specifically for special needs children.
1. Public or Private School
Evaluating schools is the first resource for understanding what different schools offer and how they will help your child get the most out of his or her abilities while gaining access to education. Your special education representatives should sit down and create an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, for your child. They will take into account your particular child’s needs and challenges, and create a plan for incorporating them into the school and helping them to succeed. With your IEP, you can feel more confident that your school is going to take good care of your child.
2. DoD Special Needs Parent Toolkit
For those who don’t know where to start in taking advantage of the services available to their special needs child, the DoD Special Needs Parent Toolkit is a great resource. While this program is especially geared towards families in the military, their website has many resources and informational documents that will help you to visualize the amount of resources available to you. On their website, they list the links to even more resources for your child including financial resources, community support, and educational services.
3. National Organization for Rare Disorders
Even for those with disabilities that aren’t common, the government has support networks in place for families to find one another and get access to the resources they need. The National Organization for Rare Disorders collects and distributes information relating to rarer disabilities. Their information is geared towards helping people with rare disabilities find health resources, information, and services relating to their disabilities.
4. Special Needs Scholarship Programs
Some states have developed funding programs to relieve the burden of educational costs on special needs families. Arizona Grant Watch is one good example of this. Similar programs exist in other states; check with your local or regional education department to see what exists in your state. This is just a small example of the programs and financial resources available to children with special needs and their families. Building a community of knowledgeable individuals is important to allow your child to grow and take advantage of many opportunities.
Gompers Exists to Empower
Gompers serves individuals with disabilities and their families in the Metro Phoenix area with the goal of promoting increased independence and an enhanced quality of life. Our services are designed to meet the unique needs and opportunities of each one of our members. Our commitment is to develop innovative opportunities to empower people with disabilities. If you are in need of a school or interested in exploring different programs for your child, contact us today to learn what we can do to help you.