Planning for Life

“I’d be Honored”: Paving the Way  For Your Special Needs Trustee - Preparing a Memorandum of Intent

Posted by Karen B. Mariscal on October 26, 2017

iStock-587221754.jpgWhen our autistic son was 8 years old, he was a holy terror.  That was true when he was younger than 8 and older than 8 (he settled down around the time of puberty, for which I am eternally grateful), but I am focusing on age 8 right now. We had two younger boys as well, then ages 5 and 4.  So when I asked my sister Laura whether she would be the guardian of our children, and take over if something happened to my husband and me, it was with great trepidation.  Laura knew full well what was going on in our house, and how difficult a request I was making.  She responded, without hesitation, “I’d be honored.”  I have tears in my eyes as I write this, as it never fails to get to me, even 17 years later.

Read More

Topics: trusts, special needs planning, Intellectually Disabled, autism, disability, Special Needs Child, Caregivers, Special Needs Trust

The History of Autism – A Disease, a Disability, or Another Mode of Normalcy?

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on February 1, 2016

By Karen B. Mariscal

We realize it is a little odd to review a book review.  But Steven Shapin’s review of the new autism book, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, published in the January 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, here, is exceptional.  Shapin uses his review to provide a brief survey of the history of autism, and how we have come to understand it, that is the best we have seen.  Shapin explains that a major focus of Donvan and Zucker’s book is on autism in the family and the changing historical role of parents of autistic children.  Here is an excerpt from the review:

Read More

Topics: autism, special needs

Not Even Close: Raising a Child with Autisim

Posted by Karen Mariscal on April 29, 2015

By Karen B. Mariscal

I came by my work as a special needs lawyer naturally, in that my husband and I have a severely autistic son, our first child, who is now a young adult.  We have navigated the educational system and the transition years, and Billy is now attending a community day program at the Charles River Center in Needham.  At this point he still lives at home, although we are working on creating a group home for him in Framingham.  Here is my story.

“Not even close.”

This is what I said to my pediatrician when she asked me the very simple yet profound question “What does he do when you ask him to go get his shoes?”

Read More

Topics: special needs planning, autism

Subscribe to New Blog Posts

Recent Posts

Most Popular Posts

Posts by Topic

see all