World Autism Awareness Day
- Posted in: Current Affairs
You may not know that autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the country, according to the Autism Society of America, with a 10%-17% annual growth rate. These are disturbing numbers for parents and parents-to-be, especially when doctors aren’t always aware of the signs and indicators of autism. When doctors aren’t aware, and parents don’t feel secure enough to advocate strongly for their child, autistic behaviors can go unrecognized and undiagnosed for years, resulting in delayed treatment and therapies at crucial developmental stages.
This lack of awareness is evident not only in the United States, but all over the world, and the United Nations General Assembly is working to change it. To that end, April 2nd has been declared World Autism Awareness Day, a day dedicated to helping “raise awareness about autism throughout society and encourage early diagnosis and early intervention.”
Estate planning attorneys know how important it is to raise awareness not only about the signs and indicators of autism, but also about government resources for your autistic child, and how to protect his or her financial future. When your autistic child is receiving government benefits (as he or she may very well be entitled to) even the smallest financial gift or inheritance can endanger those benefits and make your child ineligible. Your attorney can help you avoid that situation with a Special Needs Trust.
Luckily, here in the U.S. we have many excellent resources for family and friends of autistic individuals on either end of the autistic spectrum, including Autism Speaks, AutismLink (with a nice page about Estate Planning Issues), Autism Society of America, and The National Autism Association. These organizations are dedicated to helping families of autistic children, working hard to raise awareness about autism not only on April 2nd, but every day of the year.