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Parenting: Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast is a podcast dedicated to giving compassionate advice for all stages of life. Our conversations revolve around the entire special needs community including those with autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues and more.

Parents and experts (and sometimes parents who are experts!) discuss a whole host of issues facing the special needs community including raising children with different abilities, transitioning into adulthood, sibling challenges and how to effectively navigate the complex systems in our world.

We offer inspiration, support, expertise and a wide range of discussions that will help you survive and thrive as you support your loved one with special needs. Imagine yourself having coffee with a friend and discussing all the important challenges in your life – but your best friend is an expert!

Hosted by Attorney Annette Hines, special needs mom, author of the best-selling book Butterflies and Second Chances, national expert speaker, writer and contributor to publications, and founder of the Special Needs Law Group based In Massachusetts, Annette has regular guests that include experts in the field of special needs, siblings that offer stories and survival tips with a positive message.

Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast Annette Hines

    • Kindererziehung

Parenting: Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast is a podcast dedicated to giving compassionate advice for all stages of life. Our conversations revolve around the entire special needs community including those with autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues and more.

Parents and experts (and sometimes parents who are experts!) discuss a whole host of issues facing the special needs community including raising children with different abilities, transitioning into adulthood, sibling challenges and how to effectively navigate the complex systems in our world.

We offer inspiration, support, expertise and a wide range of discussions that will help you survive and thrive as you support your loved one with special needs. Imagine yourself having coffee with a friend and discussing all the important challenges in your life – but your best friend is an expert!

Hosted by Attorney Annette Hines, special needs mom, author of the best-selling book Butterflies and Second Chances, national expert speaker, writer and contributor to publications, and founder of the Special Needs Law Group based In Massachusetts, Annette has regular guests that include experts in the field of special needs, siblings that offer stories and survival tips with a positive message.

    EP 30: Three Most Important Things to Review: Special Needs Planning for 2020

    EP 30: Three Most Important Things to Review: Special Needs Planning for 2020

    Special needs planning takes front and center on the Special Needs Survival Podcast this week. Annette talks about what any family or caretaker needs to understand going into the year 2020 when it comes to planning for the future.
    Annette quickly goes over the SECURE Act which was just signed into law. The SECURE Act provides some flexibility and opportunities when it comes to tax planning and distributions when using special needs trusts. If you have a special needs trust or you should have a special needs trust, Annette says it’s a must that you sit down with your attorney to review your plan.
    Then, Annette discusses why this is a good time to review all the individuals who have roles to play in your special needs plan. Look at your list of selections for guardians, those with power of attorney, trustees and those involved in any health care proxy. Annette says particular attention needs to be placed on guardians. She also suggests perhaps using a trust protector and she explains what that is in the podcast episode.
    Annette also strongly suggests creating a Letter of Intent in your special needs planning. She talks about what this is and why it is vitally important. It details all the wishes you have for your special needs loved one from guardians and family roles all the way down to what doctors and other professionals you want to be in your loved one’s life. And small details as well that might turn out to be major factors in someone’s life. 
    Annette wraps up by going through a few other times including reviewing assets, a move across state lines and so much more.
    If you have done special needs planning or you need to do so, you’ll need to listen to this podcast.

    • 25 Min.
    EP 29: Update on Massachusetts Abuse Registry-Nicky’s Law

    EP 29: Update on Massachusetts Abuse Registry-Nicky’s Law

    Mini-podcast episode.
     
    Annette takes a few minutes to talk about the recent developments in Massachusetts with Nicky’s Law. Nicky’s Law passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives in January 2020 and paves the ways for an abuse registry for those who mistreat individuals with disabilities. The governor of Massachusetts is expected to sign the bill which will make this important effort law in Massachusetts.
     
    Annette sat down with Cheryl Ryan Chan on Episode two of parenting Impossible and the two talked about the critical need for such a registry. Nicky’s Law is named after Cheryl’s son who suffered abuse at the hands of a caretaker. You can listen to that episode here: https://specialneedscompanies.com/nickys-law/
     
    Annette also talks about the efforts of Blaine Brockman who she interviewed in Episode 18. Blaine has dedicated his life to creating safe communities for those with disabilities. You can revisit that episode here. https://specialneedscompanies.com/ep-18-safety-and-community-integration-for-people-with-special-needs/
     
    Annette talks about the need for more states to have this type of protection and encourages all to check to see if there is a comparable law in their states. If not, it’s time to start advocating for our loved ones and get active.

    • 7 Min.
    EP 28: Resources for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

    EP 28: Resources for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

    Annette sits down with Amber Bobnar, who runs the very popular WonderBaby website. WonderBaby is a website that is packed full of valuable resources for parents raising children that have visual impairments and other disabilities.
     
    Topics on her website range from tips on raising children that have visual impairments, toy reviews and recommendations for children with disabilities, sleep, eating and nutrition advice as well as assistive technology, and parent advice on how to have a constructive IEP meeting with your school system. And much more! Articles are written by Amber as well as a whole host of other informational pieces by contributors across the globe.
     
    Articles are translated into several languages including Arabic, Spanish and Dutch.
     
    Annette and Amber start by discussing how special needs parents need to be, and end up being experts in so many areas. If your child has multiple disabilities, you end up having to educate yourself in other areas to adequately advocate for your special needs loved one. Amber started WonderBaby in 2006 after belonging to many chat groups and other outlets to gain and share information about her son Ivan and his disabilities. She felt that there needed to be a place where parents could find this information easily. 
     
    Amber talks to Annette about the important topic of self-care and offers some advice to special needs parents and caregivers. First, she says you need to learn to say no. The word no is very powerful and can save you from entering into commitments that can take you away from your responsibilities and save you from exhaustion. Second, she says to have something that you enjoy for yourself and she reveals what she does to have fun in this podcast.
     
    And she also finds a way to say yes to certain things in her life such as a good friend asking her out to lunch. She feels that incredibly important for your mental wellbeing.
     
    Her final piece of advice? Take a nap every once in a while!
    Find out more about the incredible resources at WonderBaby below:
     
    http://www.wonderbaby.org/sites/wonderbaby2.perkinsdev1.org/files/wonderbaby-flyer.pdf
    https://www.facebook.com/wonderbaby.org

    • 44 Min.
    EP 27: Breaking News: The SECURE Act and Special Needs Trusts

    EP 27: Breaking News: The SECURE Act and Special Needs Trusts

    The SECURE Act went into effect on January 1, 2020 and Mark Worthington of Special Needs Law Group joins Annette to discuss this important development and to shed some light for special needs parents about what they need to pay attention to when it comes to retirement and leaving assets to their loved ones with special need.
     
    One of the big changes in the SECURE Act is that it increases the retirement age from 70 ½ to 72 years old for traditional IRA required distributions. But the Act also ends what some call Stretch IRAs. Now, all distributions must be taken no later than 10 years after the plan owner’s death.
     
    Most importantly there are significant changes that anyone with a special needs trust must be aware of and that’s what Mark and Annette discuss today. One of those changes allows for certain special needs trusts to use what was called the Stretch… the life expectancy of the deceased. However, as Mark points out in this podcast, there are still restrictions and he goes over those limitations.
     
    Mark and Annette discuss what needs to happen next if you do have a special needs trust in place to make sure the language is updated. It is important for anyone to contact their attorney to make sure that the language reflects what is now in the SECURE Act.
     
    You can also find out more in this recent blog post by Mark and Annette at the Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, PC.
     
    https://specialneeds-law.com/the-secure-act-and-special-needs-trusts/

    • 37 Min.
    EP 26: Challenges for the Disability Community for 2020

    EP 26: Challenges for the Disability Community for 2020

    On this episode of Parenting Impossible, the Special Needs Survival Podcast, Annette takes time to address a number of issues and challenges that could face the special needs community in 2020. Her guests are MacKenzie Mahoney, the newest attorney with Special Needs Law Group and Mark Worthington, a partner at the firm.
     
    Annette and MacKenzie discuss the growing concern regarding the availability of direct support professionals that assist individuals with disabilities. In many states, there continues to be a lack of qualified professionals that support people with disabilities including in-home services as well as those that are employed by various agencies that serve those with disabilities.
     
    Annette also brings up another issue facing the disability community which is aging parent caretakers. As people with disabilities get older, so do their parents and other supports. The two discuss what systems need to be in place to secure a bright and independent future for those who need various levels of care as they get older.
     
    The discussion turns to federal funding for disability programs and the various ways in which those funds can support people with disabilities. There continues to be growing pressure on federally-funded programs such as Medicaid and other critical programs and Annette and MacKenzie discuss what they see for the year 2020.
     
    And a discussion that doesn’t seem to go away are the continued biases that seem to always be present regarding individuals with disabilities. These biases and old ways of thinking continue to affect the ability to have people with disabilities become part of the workforce and gain meaningful employment. And, biases also impede the ability for people to become part of a community and secure proper housing withing a community.
     
    Mark Worthington joins Annette for the last segment of the podcast to discuss more on the outlook for 2020 including the passage of the SECURE Act in Congress and what that means for the disability community.
     
    Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    • 44 Min.
    EP 25: Skills Your Middle School Student Really Needs

    EP 25: Skills Your Middle School Student Really Needs

    Middle school can be a challenging age regardless of whether our student has special needs and Annette’s guest this time knows just how to help those students who are in this age group.
     
    Katy Boucher is the founder of The Accord School based in Norwell Massachusetts. The Accord School as Katy puts it, teaches students critical thinking skills and gets them ready for real life experiences and challenges. The school provides an education in all the typical areas a school would provide but also focuses heavily on the areas of social skills, life skills and educational outings. Her students tend to have special needs although not every student carries a diagnosis.
     
    Katy talks about how she founded the Accord School after offering social skills groups and classes on her own for many years. She grew her social skills training to a point where she was driving to many areas of her region, but she also felt that individual training did not solve all the challenges she wanted to address with kids. Katy’s social skills groups grew to over 80 kids before starting The Accord School.
     
    Katy spends some time during the interview to discuss her views on cell phone use and what age is appropriate for responsible cell phone use. She talks about what can happen in certain settings when cell phones are used inappropriately including the topic of online bullying.
     
    Katy brings up a troubling story from the website https://www.waituntil8th.org/ of a middle school student who is shocked to find out that he was the star of a viral video of him slipping in the school cafeteria and spilling soup on himself. The contrast of the student who posted the video and feeling great to the other student who is horrified and embarrassed that his misfortune is all over the internet is a reminder of the downside of having mobile phones and social media at such an early age.
     
    The link to that full story can be found here: https://www.waituntil8th.org/blog/2018/11/12/middle-school-misfortunes-then-and-now-one-teachers-take
     
    Annette talks with Katy about the critical skills that a middle school aged child needs to focus on to grow into a successful adult. Katy’s list is below and she discusses them at length.
    Flexibility+ Adaptation
    Social Thinking+ Communication
    Collaboration+ Teamwork
    Self-Management
    Critical Thinking
    Asking Important Questions
    Practical+ Purposeful Technology
    Creativity+ Innovation
    Emotional Awareness+Regulation
    Empathy+ Perspective Taking
     
    Find out more about the Accord School here.  http://theaccordschool.org/
    And learn more about Katy Boucher here: http://katyboucher.com/

    • 46 Min.

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