5 Reasons Families Don't Create A Special Needs Plan

5 Reasons Families Don’t Create A Special Needs Plan…And What To Do About It

Families across the country have shared with our team that they know that they need to plan for the future. They’ve been reminded of that reality over and over again by well-meaning professionals. But these families often share with us that they feel stuck in their current circumstances and incapable of moving beyond that to begin the planning process.

Through personal family experiences (having grown up with a younger sister with Down syndrome), I understand that there are so many emotions that arise as families think about and plan for the future. Overwhelm. Confusion. Frustration. Worry. Fear.

I understand the seemingly never-ending checklist of tasks that parents of a child with special needs have to accomplish… with so much urgency and often fast-approaching deadlines.

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Seven Reasons Why We Avoid Planning Ahead and What to Do About Them

The following post was written by Kamran Akbarzadeh, PhD, founder of Dream Achievers Academy. View the original post here:

Have you ever started taking action toward accomplishing a goal or dream without a plan either in mind or on paper? If you have, were you able to achieve any measurable results? Did you feel lost or confused at some point? Did you tell yourself, “I wish I had thought about that” or “I wish I had planned first?”

Many of us take action without proper planning. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Many fail because they do not take the time to think ahead and plan for success. Without a plan, you have no roadmap to see which routes can take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Planning ahead is an important aspect of dream achieving process. By planning ahead, you become proactive and foresee issues or roadblocks that may come your way and therefore plan the actions to avoid the roadblocks or face them confidently. As author Lester Bittel said, “Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” Hence, planning ahead is necessary for effective leadership and long-lasting success.

Despite the benefits of proactive planning, many of us do not like to plan ahead in our personal or professional life. We either wait until the last minute to plan what we want to do or jump into action without any plan. Our lack of interest in planning ahead is rooted in our belief system. The following seven reasons explain why we avoid planning ahead.

1. We are reactive rather than proactive

When we are in reactive mode, we do not plan to perform tasks or meet objectives until we are asked to, or it is urgent. We do not respond appropriately and therefore our reactive plans rarely work. Until we become proactive, we will have little interest in planning ahead.

2. We are not organized

Those who plan ahead are typically better organized than those who do not. We may like the idea of being organized or even expect others to be organized but since we lack organization, we do not believe in the benefit of plans. Indeed, our plans may fall apart, and when this occurs, we lose interest and become even more disorganized. This continues until we hit a roadblock and become aware.

3. We are not self-disciplined

Those who are self-disciplined create order in their personal and professional lives. They have the willpower to stick to their values and take the right actions based on the right plans. Without a well-developed plan, it is difficult to be self-disciplined. As Ramez Sasson said, “Self-discipline is not a severe and limited behavior or a restrictive lifestyle. It is a very important ingredient for success, any form of success.”

When we lack self-discipline, we tend to avoid following through with our plans, which is another reason why we do not like to plan ahead. We come to the conclusion that planning stops us from doing whatever we want to do. We forget that doing whatever we want to do is different from what needs to be done. Without a good plan and self-discipline, we cannot do what is needed to do to get to where we want to be faster.

4. We procrastinate

Some people are good at making plans but procrastinate about implementing the plans. Others procrastinate about planning ahead. They delay planning for success because they think that it is too early to plan, they are not ready, or they may not need a plan at all. The more we procrastinate, the harder it is to come up with effective plans that lead to success.

5. We don’t know how to plan effectively

Planning ahead requires knowledge. There are tools for effective planning but if we do not know them we will not be a successful planner. Therefore, not knowing how to plan effectively results in a lack of interest in planning ahead.

6. We think planning is a waste of time!

We normally don’t do what we don’t believe in. If we think that plans do not work and that planning ahead is a waste of time, we are right! We get what we focus on. We need to change our mindset and see planning as a necessary and important step.

7. We are not patient

Another reason why some of us do not like planning is that we are too hasty and cannot wait for the plans to come to fruition. We just want to jump right into the execution part without the plan in hand. This attitude to planning results in incomplete plans, low productivity, and losses.

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Come Roll With Me

The following guest post was written by Hunter Kelch, owner/author of Come Roll With Me.

I started Come Roll With Me with encouragement from my mom.  It has been my dream to become a writer and blogging has allowed me to do that as well as advocate for individuals with disabilities. So, I was thrilled when ENABLE asked me to be a guest blogger!

I have always been disabled, I never knew life any other way. I entered the world with a bang. Which is not surprising, since my due date was July 4th!  However, my actual birth occurred on April 8th!  I came in at 2lbs 13oz. Due to my size and underdeveloped body, I was unable to effectively fight a staph infection and brain damage was the result. 

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Down Syndrome Microbiome Research

The following information was shared with us by Julia Toronczak with Beyond the Waves and does not necessarily represent the views of ENABLE Special Needs Planning.


Just in the 1980’s, the average life expectancy for an individual who has Down Syndrome was around 25. Advances in research have helped alleviate symptoms of congenital heart disease, along with other diseases that are co-morbid with DS. Nowadays, these individuals can live more fulfilling lives and have a life expectancy around the age of 60.

Did you know that individuals who have Down Syndrome are protected from coronary artery disease, hypertension, and most solid tumors, including breast, colon, and skin cancers? Interestingly enough, scientists have discovered that individuals who have leukemia but do not have Down Syndrome end up having a part of the 21st chromosome amplified, which may carry a “leukemia oncogene.”

Joaquin Espinosa, who runs the Espinosa research lab at the University of Colorado Denver, specializes in Down Syndrome and cancer research. His team is currently finding ways to alleviate co-morbidities found with Down Syndrome. He also passionately writes about the importance of including persons who have Down Syndrome into scientific research, as funding for Down Syndrome research is considerably lower than for other conditions.

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Losing my best friend was one of the best things that ever happened to me…

Guest blog post by Meegan Winters | Co-Founder/CEO | Able Eyes

Almost 4 years ago I lost my dear friend Jessica as a result of her lifelong battle with Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic condition that results in weakening and deterioration of muscles in the body.

Jessica spent her whole life in a wheelchair, watching others experience things she knew she never could. Fortunately, she was born into the most amazing family ever! They never ever let “disability” impact her experiences in life (or her brother’s, who also has MD). They took several family vacations, included her in community events, had wild and crazy parties at their house, and even had the courage to send her off to Central Michigan University where she nearly completed her Master’s degree.

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Everyone has the ability to #BeImpactful. – Phillip C. Clark, Founder and President

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