News and Information for Families with Special Needs

Posted by Patricia Manko on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

Click here to download a full size, printable version with enabled links. 

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Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, autism, siblings, Special Needs Events in MA

We are the Money Magazine Family

Posted by Patty Manko on Thu, May 02, 2013 @ 04:48 PM

Money MagazineJohn Nadworny’s Financial Plan for a Family with Special Needs

Featured in Money Magazine

Over the many years, in our presentations about financial planning for families of people with special needs, we always referred to ourselves as NOT the typical  Money magazine family. Times have changed.

Last fall John received a telephone call from Jeff Howe, who was writing an article about financial concerns of families with a child with special needs.  Jeff’s interest extended beyond the story he had been hired to report- his 5 year old son Finn is diagnosed with autism and other significant medical conditions.  Like many others in his situation, Jeff and his wife Alysia were distressed and completely overwhelmed with trying to figure out what it would cost to raise their son and take care of the rest of the family. 

 According to the US Census bureau, nearly 1 in 5 people in the US have a disability, with half of them reporting the disability to be severe. ¹ About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.²   Given the vast number of families dealing with providing and planning for their loved one with a disability, there are a number of financial planners claiming expertise in special needs. Jeff interviewed and moved beyond several of them before finding John through an online search. Finally, he had called the right person.

 John Nadworny was familiar with scary math: his youngest child James was turning 22, the age at which school districts relinquish responsibility for a special needs child.  James has Down syndrome and John and his family planned and prepared for years to provide James with the means to have an independent and full life. To read about the Nadwornys’ experience planning for their son’s transition to independent living, click here: Diary of a Dream.

John applied his 20 years of experience in financial planning and knowledge of the costs  of a child with a disability and walked the Howe family through a process to help them reach their goals. The result is Paying for Finn: a special needs child, Money, May 2013.

Click the link below to read the full story.

 ¹Americans with disabilities 2010

² CDC Autism and Developmental Disabilities


Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, autism, financial planning

Tips for the Holidays for Families with Special Needs

Posted by Patricia Manko on Fri, Dec 07, 2012 @ 08:59 AM

holiday girl resized 600We all could use a little help during the holidays! This is one of the reasons, a non-profit in San Mateo, CA created a Holiday Survival Guide for Families with Special Needs in 2010.   The guide provides parents with helpful tips and resources to utilize during this busy and stressful time of year. It will help you navigate the change in schedules to finding a sensory safe Santa to how to explain to the grandparents why your child may not eat grandma's stuffing. Here is a directory of topics covered in the Guide:

  • How To Thrive During The Holidays
  • Top Toys for Children with Special Needs (there are updated versions of this list available online)
  • Love, Laugh & Live: The Emotional Side of the Holidays 
  • Holiday Decoration Tips 
  • Santa Clause 101: Five Ways To Prepare For A Visit With Santa 
  • Reinventing Hanukkah For Special Needs Families

Click here to download a copy of Abilitypath's Holiday Survival Guide.

With, 2012.  

Tags: autism, holidays for special needs, traveling with child with disabilities

Special Needs Financial Planning Newsletter

Posted by Patricia Manko on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 @ 06:08 PM

Click on the icon below to download our October newsletter featuring

  • Planning is a Family Affair: Coming of Age as a Brother or Sister of a Person with Disabilities
  • Our new, exclusive SNFP Housing Checklist
  • Tips to help people with autism and their families have happy holidays

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Tags: Housing, Special Needs Financial Planning, autism

Building a Framework for Housing: A Person Centered Plan

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 04:57 PM

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A Person Centered Approach and an Individual Plan should be the foundation of the framework for housing. It’s important to assess any housing options through the lens of what the individual’s needs, skills and desires are.  There are tools on the web which can guide an individual/family through this process.  An individual plan should consider the whole life of the individual, not only housing.  Can he/she be alone during the day?  What are his/her employment possibilities? Is further training needed or job supports? How will he/she maintain a social life and other interests such as religion, hobbies, family get-togethers, sporting events, etc.

 Requesting a person centered transition plan during the school years is strongly recommended.  This is a resource that is a right as educational services (See IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are an entitlement.  At age 16 years, school systems are required to develop a transition plan for adulthood or adult life.  Too few people take advantage of this requirement.   

 To read more, download our whitepaper.

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, autism

New! Special Needs Planning Newsletter

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 01:06 PM

Please click on our logo to view our newsletter in its new quarterly format.

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Featured this month:


  • Autism awareness month: information, experience and planning for families of individuals with autism
  • Special Needs Trusts- the key is the money!
  • Events and Organizations

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, Special Needs Trusts, autism

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