The New Year is here and with it comes those New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are the goals we set for ourselves for the upcoming year – try to eat healthier, save more money, make time to get to the gym.
This might also be a good time for families to reflect on what goals they may have for their children with autism. I frequently get asked the question, “Do you see this as something my child can do within one year?” Your child’s educational team also has to make this determination when writing goals for the Individualized Education Program.
In thinking about setting goals, take a page from the IEP guidelines and try to make them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound. Instead of, “I want my child to communicate more with me,” think about what is the most important thing they learn to communicate. Instead of “I want my child to read”, maybe “I want my child to read 10 words, or 20 words,” or whatever makes the most sense.
As with any goal, in order to get somewhere, you have to know where you are at. It’s difficult to measure progress if you don’t have a baseline measurement to know what you are comparing to. Additionally, it’s hard to know whether the teaching you are doing is having the impact you want, without occasionally measuring the progress. That’s why data-driven decisions are so crucial. If you have an idea in your mind about what kind of goal you want to work towards achieving with your son or daughter, stop and take a measurement of what their current skill is in this area.
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Please join Monarch Center for Autism for a STABLE Accounts training session on Thursday, January 26th presented by representatives from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office. Pre-registration is required…
STABLE Accounts – National Savings & Investment Solutions for People with Disabilities: STABLE Accounts were launched in June 2016 by the Office of the State Treasurer of Ohio. This national program is available to residents of ALL states in the United States. STABLE Accounts are made possible by the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. This is the federal legislation that allows families and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to create tax-advantaged accounts that can be used to help maintain health, independence and quality of life, without losing eligibility for certain government benefits like Medicaid, SSI or SSDI.
- Thursday, January 26 from 10-11am in the Board Room at Bellefaire JCB (22001 Fairmount Blvd. Shaker Hts., OH 44118): Free in-person training presented by representatives from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office.
- Thursday, January 26 from 12-1pm online only: Free online webinar presented by representatives from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office.
Topics will include: What is the ABLE Act? What are STABLE Accounts? Benefits of STABLE Accounts. Who can have a STABLE Account? Enrollment process. Eligibility certifications. Funding your account. Investment options. SSI considerations. Medicaid considerations. How can you spend STABLE funds? Non-qualified expenditures. Spending from your account. STABLE card. Account cost. STABLE vs. Special Needs Trust. Helpful resources. Question & Answer. For more information, please refer to the attached PDF.
Since launching on June 1, 2016, STABLE has grown to be the largest and most successful ABLE plan in the nation! Please read sentiments below from some STABLE Account beneficiaries…
- “I can finally go to work full time because I can save the extra money I make in a STABLE Account that does not affect my Medicaid eligibility.” (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- “Using a STABLE Account and a Special Needs Trust together gives my client much broader spending power.” (SNT Advisor, California)
- “I can now invest an equal amount of money for my child with special needs as I do into a 529 College Savings Account for my other children.” (Cleveland, Ohio)