Taxation of Special Needs Trusts

This article was written by Special Needs Alliance member Tara Pleat. Tara is a founding partner of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. She practices in the areas of Special Needs Planning, Elder … [Read more...]

Being Her Brother’s Caregiver

A year ago, Helen Ries’s mother died unexpectedly, and she became the primary caregiver of her brother, Paul Knoll. Knoll has Down syndrome and had lived with his parents most of his life. Ries admits that her first year as a … [Read more...]

On Pins and Needles: Caring for Those with Mental Illness

As many as 8.4 million Americans are providing care to an adult with an emotional or mental health issue. Often, these family caregivers feel the impact of the disease as they struggle to care for their loved ones and to bridge … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: New iPhone App Could Transform How We Diagnose Autism

Dear Commander Bun Bun, I heard somewhere that a new app has been developed by Apple that can be used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using facial expressions. Since you are attuned to what's going on with … [Read more...]

Living with Fewer Rights than a Convicted Felon

Q. My 30 year old cousin, Donnie, is intellectually disabled. He works at the Wendy's near my house, serving burgers and greeting customers with a smile. He has a bank account, and saves most of the money he earns, makes a mean … [Read more...]

Self Care for a Special Needs Parent

Dear Angel, My daughter, Valerie, has autism spectrum disorder (formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome, but now under the ASD umbrella). She is very bright, and for the most part is in an inclusive environment at school. … [Read more...]

Virginia Becomes First State to Approve ABLE Act

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Signs ABLE Act into Law (Source: NBC 29) Q. Our son, Jeff, has autism spectrum disorder and will likely need assistance throughout his lifetime. We are looking for ways to save for his … [Read more...]

Have a Piece of Cake. . .

It's Medicaid's 50th Birthday! Q.  My son, Sam, turns 50 this year. Besides his birth, I know that something else significant happened in 1965 -- President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicaid into law. I know you help people apply … [Read more...]

Choose Your Trustees Wisely

Mark is an autistic adult who resides in a Medicaid-funded residential program in upstate New York. Before his parents passed away, his mother established a Special Needs Trust for him, which held in excess of $2 million, with the … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: Apps for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Dear Saki and Alley, My daughter with ASD often gets frustrated when playing on the iPad, because some of the apps are too fast paced, or she doesn't understand them. Do you know of any apps that someone with ASD could … [Read more...]