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Guest Post: What You Can Expect When You Are Expecting a Special Needs Child

Guest Post: What You Can Expect When You Are Expecting a Special Needs Child

You may feel overwhelmed when you learn the news. Having a child is chaotic enough, but a special needs baby can take a little more work and research. If you don’t quite know where you need to start, here are some pieces of advice to put your right foot forward.

Insurance Issues

Are you concerned that your new baby won’t be supported later in life? One way you can see to your little one’s financial needs is by setting up a life insurance policy. Specifically, one that allows your child to receive funding that doesn’t affect their standing with Medicare or Social Security. Often, other forms of life insurance interfere with your child’s Medicare or Social Security payments. Look for a trust that doesn’t increase in price over the years, as well as a policy that can be canceled without penalty. Your current insurance company may have additional information for you, but don’t hesitate to shop around and find the best policy you can, with all the individual specifications you require. No matter what plan you choose, as your child ages, you will want to appoint a legal guardian to ensure your child’s needs are always seen to.

Financial Planning

If you are worried about the costs of health insurance for your child, look into Medicaid, as many children with disabilities qualify. However, if you earn too much to receive it, there are other government programs you can look into for assistance, such as CHIP or CSHCN. Depending on your child’s disability and your insurance coverage, there may end up being treatments or programs your child will need that are not covered. Because of this, you should start saving whatever is feasible. You may not be able to put as much aside as you want, especially as an incoming baby requires a good deal of spending, but even a small amount can be useful.

Prepare Your Home

Depending again on your child’s disability, your home will need different modifications. For instance, if your child will have difficulty walking, you may want a ramp leading up to your front door or a level threshold. You’ll need to have your front doorway be a bit wider -- at least five feet wide -- for the ability to maneuver easily. Handrails should be added at every stairway, and grab bars should be installed in each bathroom, especially in the tub and near the toilets. Make sure your flooring is even throughout your home and that you have skid-resistant rugs or carpeting. You’ll want to take the usual baby precautions as well, and make sure all cabinets have locks and that sharp corners are baby-proofed.

Additionally, a service dog may be useful to not only help you care for your incoming baby but to provide companionship, too. They can help around the household but also assist your child as they age, in school and in the public sphere.

Look After Yourself

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by this news or the things you need to accomplish. At times, you may even feel isolated. It is incredibly important to look after yourself, physically and emotionally. Give yourself compassion and do something kind for yourself. Try to still have date nights between you and your partner, and if not every week, then every other. Look to your friends and family for support. This can come in different ways. It may mean your parents come over to help around the house, or a friend meets with you to grab a bite to eat and have a chat. You need to feel like a person, not just an automaton whose goal is to work.

We all want to make the lives of our babies as easy as possible. You might be worried about future difficulties for your child, depending on their condition. However, with a little extra work and proper planning, you can make this experience as magical as you ever hoped it would be.

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Article Written by: Emily Graham from

The Loss Mama Sanctuary on NPR

The Loss Mama Sanctuary on NPR