By Brendan J. King      

Television series depicting characters on the autism spectrum are growing and more are in the planning stages. From series that include The Good Doctor (ABC), Parenthood (HULU) and Atypical (Netflix), among others, public awareness about the spectrum is growing. Andrew Duff, a multimedia producer at Autism Speaks, who is also on the autism spectrum, welcomes the growing representation. However, some critics state that the focus of these shows present an overly positive depiction of autism and not the full realities of the spectrum.

Autism Awareness Month calls our attention to the value of those with autism (Autism Awareness Month: Focus on Special Needs Planning). It educates the public about the full spectrum, from those who are highly intellectual to those who are profoundly debilitated. There is no doubt that special needs individuals are vulnerable and in need of care throughout their lives.

Questions that parents and caretakers of those with special needs should be considering include:

  • Have I provided for my child’s financial security after I can no longer do so?
  • Have I provided a way for him/her to receive compassionate care throughout his/her life?
  • Have I named someone to take over my parental and financial responsibilities when I can’t do it anymore?
  • Have I involved another family member or trusted friend in my loved one’s care?
  • Have I created a statement of wishes that describes how to best care for my loved one?
  • Have I made my wishes known and legal?

Autism Awareness Month is an excellent time to develop a proper estate plan for your loved one’s future. Understandably some parents and caretakers are so challenged by the day-to-day care for their child they put off estate planning …it seems that they simply do not have the time.

But proper legal planning is vital to ensure your loved one’s future security; the process is easier then you may imagine ( Make an appointment today with an attorney who is skilled in special needs planning and who will be empathetic to your situation.

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