Did you know that your mindset throughout the Special Needs Planning process is the most important part of planning?
The main purpose of beginning your Special Needs Planning by creating a Vision Plan for your child is so that you develop an abundance mindset, focused on the abilities that you see in your loved one. Maintaining this mindset is essential as you complete the remaining four areas of planning.
Your Vision Plan describes what a great life for your child looks like. It should include your hopes and dreams for their life, as well as, their own hopes and dreams for the future. Your Vision Plan will guide the remainder of your Comprehensive Special Needs Planning process.
There are many important questions to ask yourself—and discuss as a family—as you develop your Vision Plan for your child. For example,
- What does a GREAT LIFE look like for your child (in terms of their level of independence, social life, spiritual life, education, job or vocation, home environment, etc.)?
- Based on your child’s ABILITIES, what hopes and dreams do you have for their life (academically, socially, vocationally, etc.)?
- What ABILITIES do you see in him or her that you want to encourage and nurture?
- What are your child’s aspirations (academically, socially, vocationally, etc.)?
- How do you envision your son or daughter living a dignified, purposeful, fulfilling, and impactful life?
- What challenges need to be addressed and overcome to achieve these hopes and dreams?
- What does a GREAT LIFE for your child look like now, in 10-15 years, and in 25+ years?
Your answers to these questions will provide the vision necessary to maintain a mindset of abundance.
A typical Special Needs Plan focuses exclusively on preparing for the “What Ifs…” in life. That is, many planning professionals can help you prepare adequate financial and legal documents to protect and provide for your child in the event that you are no longer around to care for him or her.
However, planning beyond the “What Ifs…” can yield many additional benefits for you, your family, and your child with special needs.
Beginning your planning by creating a Vision Plan that answers questions about your hopes, dreams, and vision for your child’s GREAT LIFE will completely refocus your planning journey and expand the goals of the process.
A truly Comprehensive Special Needs Planning process allows you to create every opportunity for your child to live the great life you’ve envisioned. It provides strategies to help you overcome every challenge that arises. It enhances your relationship with your child, and their relationships with other individuals in their life. And finally, a truly Comprehensive Special Needs Plan provides a way for your child to enjoy many unique and exhilarating experiences throughout their lifetime that wouldn’t have been possible, had you not planned with an abundance mindset.
Because your child’s abilities, hopes, dreams, and challenges will change over time, it is important to review and update their Vision Plan every year.
The FIVE areas of Special Needs Planning can seem overwhelming, frustrating, and confusing at times. Sometimes negative emotions, such as these, can prevent us from moving forward with our planning. Your Special Needs Planning professionals should have the personal and professional experience necessary to help you overcome any negative emotions that arise as you plan for your child. He or she should know the questions to ask and the strategies to recommend so that your planning process is as easy, efficient, and impactful as possible for your family’s unique situation and needs.
Now that you’re familiar with a Vision Plan and understand why starting with this area of planning is essential, you’re ready to learn about the next step of the planning process: Creating a Life Plan.
Don’t miss the next post of this series: Day 3: Life Planning: If You Won a Weekend Getaway, would You be Prepared to Leave Your Child with a Family Member? where I’ll explain the ins and outs of Life Planning, including why you definitely don’t want to skip this part of the planning process! Look for that post tomorrow around 2pm ET on my website (www.enablesnp.com/blog) or Facebook page (@ENABLEsnp)!
And as always, if you have any questions or would like to speak directly with a member of our team, feel free to contact us by visiting www.enablesnp.com/contact. We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your family’s unique situation.