Being a parent of a child with special needs is a life-changing experience. Not only do you grow as a person, but also as a parent and guardian, learning how to care for and protect your child who may not be able to care for themselves. Things may change, however, once your child reaches the age of 18 years old and is no longer considered a child.

Now that they are a young adult, they are legally responsible for making their own decisions and thinking for themselves. Some may be prepared for this situation and thrive in their own environment. Others may still need help from their parents and are not quite capable of making life-altering decisions on their own. While this may be a nation-wide issue, Denton County residents are coming to terms with special needs guardianship as well.

The benefits of guardianship

According to the Texas Workforce Investment Council, the unemployment rate is higher for those with disabilities than it is for those without. When they are employed, individuals with disabilities are often placed on a lower pay scale than others with the same education.

By taking guardianship of your disabled friend or family member, you can help them to make the essential decisions they need to get through life. Here are a few reasons why it may be important to consider becoming a guardian of your loved one:

  • A legal guardianship can protect those who are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and neglect.
  • Lend your support by encouraging your ward to manage his or her personal affairs.
  • You can advocate for your ward by helping them determine where they are going to live and what type of treatments they should have.

While there are many benefits of guardianship, you must look at your specific case closely to see whether it is up to their standards.

Does your child need a guardian?

Some disabled children turning 18 years old are ready for life on their own. Others, on the other hand, prefer to stay home where they feel safe. Consider the following when determining whether or not your child needs a guardian:

  • Decision Making: If your child is unable to make vital life-decisions on their own, will he or she need help making the right choices.
  • Finances: Is your child able to control their finances without any help? You want to make sure that your child is able to make sound financial choices.
  • Disabilities: If your child suffers from autism, Down Syndrome or another birth defect, you may want to carefully consider a guardianship.

Determining whether a guardianship is right for your unique situation can be a difficult decision. It is advisable to work with a qualified lawyer to help you through the guardianship process .

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