ABLEnow® has sponsored this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We are six years (SIX YEARS!) into autism and adulthood and I can’t believe I’m still shocked at how unprepared the world is for kids like mine. The moment our world changed from acronyms like IEP and LRE to SSI and CLS I completely lost my footing.*
Did you know?
Did you know that if you are in an area that doesn’t have reliable public transportation an adult with special needs usually has no inherent rights to be transported anywhere?
Did you know that the moment someone receiving Social Security Income (SSI) puts any money in their bank account they can be financially penalized for that money? Did you know it works the same way for food stamps?
Did you know direct care staff hired through state/county agencies generally make less than ANY OTHER JOB out there? They could walk into almost any establishment hiring people with no experience and make several more dollars an hour than the people hired to work with adults with special needs.
Did you know that my daughter can’t save any money? That sometimes she feels like having a job is pointless? That autism and adulthood mean finding ways to show her that her work is meaningful even though she never gets to see the money accumulate?
So, what’s next?
I’m not sure how to help her get ahead. I’m not sure how to teach her that having a job is worth it. The minute she receives a paycheck or a little extra money for her birthday the small amount of money she receives each month is decreased. Most people with autism are black and white thinkers. How do I teach her that gaining independence doesn’t mean losing what she had to begin with?
Everything about her future is a work in progress that quite possibly will never be finished. Someone recently said something to me beginning with “Well once you get her house all set…” and I almost laughed out loud because just like her school years, I’m not sure the “living semi-independently” years will ever be all set.
One thing that has given us a bit of relief when it comes to the struggles of autism and adulthood is ABLEnow. Disability advocates fought hard to give people with developmental disabilities the option to save money without penalizing their current disability benefits and ABLEnow is making that happen. In fact, saving money might be the ONLY thing we can check off our list.
The ABLEnow savings program is a great option for us. Even family and friends are able to contribute to Ashlyn’s ABLEnow account and it does not affect her Social Security Income or Medicaid eligibility. She can put birthday money away and take it out for almost anything that helps her live a more independent life — including transportation, her favorite thing to spend money on.
Can you imagine having to ask someone permission or schedule it on a calendar every time you want to go anywhere? Thank goodness for Uber and Lyft, Ashlyn and her roommates can get a car together and go anywhere their account balances will take them. Best of all, she can feel good about doing it on her own.
With ABLEnow she is able to take money out of her savings account for anything that serves her disability. Family and friends can help contribute to things like staffing costs. We can save for future housing plans and put money away for her like we would for any of our children’s future plans. She deserves that, just like any child does.
To find out more about opening an ABLEnow savings account visit the ABLEnow website and make sure to check out their FAQ page to get all of your questions answered. Right now, ABLEnow has a fantastic sweepstakes available. If you are considering opening an account for yourself or an eligible loved one click here to enter to win a $500 contribution!
*IEP- Individualized Education Plan, LRE- Least Restrictive Environment, SSI- Social Security Income, CLS- Community Living Services… if you are just beginning to learn these terms, take my hand (and maybe put a glass of wine in the other), we’ll get you through it!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ABLEnow.
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