Special Needs Trust Fairness Act passes!

Forming a first party Special Needs Trust has, up until now, required a parent, grandparent or a guardian to establish the trust. When the original law allowing First Party Special Needs Trusts was passed, it did not contemplate that many disabled people were perfectly capable of setting up their own trusts. Instead, if someone no longer had a parent and was not in need of a guardian, they had to seek permission from the court.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act eliminates that requirement. No longer will disabled people without parents or grandparents face lengthy legal proceedings.

The President still has to sign the Act into law, but is expected to do so. Many states will start following the new law immediately, but it is possible that New York, among other states, to seek further approval from the New York legislature before implementing the Act.

Conference on Housing for the Mentally Ill October 7, 2016

Housing is one of the most difficult problems for any person with special needs, whether developmentally disabled or suffering with mental illness.

A conference addressing the housing crisis for those with psychiatric disabilities is being held at Molloy College October 7, 2016. I plan to attend this to learn if there are any solutions to this major issue, and will report back. This Newsday article has the details on the conference if you are interested in registering.

Feeling Guilty Over Causing My Child’s Disability

Recently, I was reading this review of Toni Braxton’s new memoir, and the reviewer appeared shocked that Ms. Braxton attributed her son’s autism to God’s payback for a prior abortion.

I don’t want to get into a discussion about God, and whether He would cause a child to suffer over a parent’s alleged mistake, but as the parent of a child with many special needs, I blame myself all the time.

I’m intelligent, and educated, and I have done much research and reading on the subject of mental illness. I have spoken to experts. I “know” that the fight I had with her father didn’t cause my daughter’s disability. I “know” that the single cup of tea I had when I was pregnant, didn’t cause it. I “know” that although I wasn’t as good at giving time-outs for bad behavior, an occasional lack of discipline didn’t cause it.

And yet….I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t something that I did, or that I didn’t do, that made my child suffer. I “know” it is ridiculous, but it is also human nature for parents to blame themselves, despite being blameless.

So, I may not agree with Toni Braxton, but I understand where she is coming from.

There is a Special Place in Hell

Four employees of a Long Island group home have been fired and charged with endangerment for pitting two disabled individuals against each other, according to Newsday and News 12 Long Island.

Cellphone video of the fight shows the four workers laughing.

I think there is a special place in hell for those who are cruel to the helpless — to children, or animals, or, in this case, the developmentally disabled. No doubt that is where these “aides” are headed. They won’t get any sympathy from me.