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Signs that guardianship for your child with a disability needs to change

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Guardianships

When your child gets diagnosed with a disability, making decisions about their future can be a particularly consequential undertaking. You want to help ensure that you secure a comfortable and empowering lifestyle for them despite the challenges they may face. One way to support your child with a disability is to appoint a guardian to address their unique needs.

Guardianship arrangements aren’t set in stone; instances may arise that incentivize you to review and update your child’s guardianship once one is in place. For example, you may have initially planned to designate yourself or a close family member to be your child’s guardian. However, significant changes in circumstances can require that you choose someone else to help ensure your child receives the best possible care.

Guardian’s health decline

A compelling incentive to revisit your child’s guardianship is the declining health of the current guardian. As you may know, guardianship comes with mental, physical and emotional responsibilities. A significant decline in the guardian’s health may prevent them from showing up for your child in these capacities.

Since your child with a disability may require frequent hospitalization, a guardian who also needs regular medical attention may not fulfill their duties. You might want to find a new guardian who can provide the level of care and attention your child needs.

Your child’s needs have evolved

As children grow older, their needs naturally evolve; the same is true for children with disabilities. What can you do when you realize that your child’s needs have evolved beyond the provisions of their guardianship? What was sufficient and effective when they were younger may no longer accommodate their growth.

For example, your child may gain the capacity to make decisions that they initially needed assistance with. Retaining provisions that take away their autonomy to seek independence may violate their sense of self. In such an instance, shifting guardianship provisions to a more supportive, less restrictive arrangement can be essential. Regular assessments of the child’s needs can help determine if the current guardianship arrangement remains appropriate.

Guardianship should be a dynamic responsibility that can be adapted to changing circumstances. Recognizing the signs that indicate a need for change may be important for the continued well-being and development of a child with a disability. By staying attentive to these signs and proactively addressing them, you can help to ensure that your child with a disability receives the best possible support and care.

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