In The News…

Innovative Special Needs Planning Organization Challenges Traditional Planning Industry’s  “Death-Focused” Approach to Planning

ENABLE Special Needs Planning helps families across the country create plans so that their loved ones with special needs can live purposeful, impactful lives.

Phillip Clark, Founder and President of ENABLE Special Needs Planning, created the innovative planning company based on his personal experiences with his younger sister Sarah, who has Down syndrome. In an interview published earlier this year by AmeriDisability, Lisa Beach wrote that Clark “watched his parents navigate Sarah’s life, with doctors and other professionals repeatedly warn[ing] of the limited expectations for her life, now and in the future. ‘She may never learn to read… ride a bike… be in a mainstream classroom… live independently,’ they’d tell the family. The negative predictions shattered the dream his parents held for Sarah’s future…”

Similarly, the traditional special needs planning industry fails families by guiding them through a cookie-cutter planning process focused only on creating a plan for what happens to the child when parents are no longer able to support him or her. As a proud older brother, Clark believed there had to be a better way to plan for his sister – and others like her. Planning should be focused on helping families feel secure in their ability to enable their loved ones with special needs to live great lives today – and every day in the future.

To counter the common, negative planning experience families encounter with traditional advisors and firms, ENABLE provides a comprehensive planning approach that helps parents design plans focused around their child’s interests, passions, and dreams. The ENABLE Planning Process includes five unique and important areas of planning: Vision, Life, Resource, Financial, and Legal.

Families who plan with ENABLE still have to address life’s “What Ifs…” because not being able to predict the future is a reality every family faces. But the ENABLE planning process helps families in so many more areas than just creating a plan for what happens when the parents die. According to Clark, the ENABLE team “seeks first to understand the family’s vision for what a great life for their child looks like and then strives to help the family make continual progress toward that vision of success.”

When interviewed earlier this year for an article published by The Mighty, Clark said, “So many people feel overwhelmed…Parents often tell me, ‘I can’t even get myself to think about [planning for the future], talk about it or go there.’”

This isn’t surprising given the traditional planning industry’s emphasis on only preparing a family for what happens after the parents pass away. Thinking about death is difficult for everyone, but especially so for parents of children with special needs.

Instead, families following the ENABLE 5-Step Planning System look forward to planning because they know that the plan they create with ENABLE will allow their children to live purposeful, impactful lives today. Creating such a plan gives a family a sense of peace of mind knowing they’ve done everything they can to prepare and provide for their family now – and in the future.

ENABLE offers free and paid planning options. Their Ultimate Guide to Special Needs Planningis a free resource that helps families learn how to create a comprehensive special needs plan for their loved ones. It includes planning checklists, questions to consider for each of the five areas of planning, and much more. Download a free copy today by visiting:

Need help with your special needs planning? Contact the ENABLE team via email at:

Other interviews, articles, blogs, and podcasts featuring ENABLE: