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Finding the right guardian for children with severe autism

| Nov 4, 2019 | Disability And Long-Term Care Planning |

Parents of children with level three autism often want to find someone who is responsible and capable enough to watch over their child if both of them were to die. According to the DSM-5, those with the condition often have a hard time communicating verbally and nonverbally, coping with changes in their environment and socially interacting with others.

These circumstances can make it hard for parents to find a caretaker with the patience and understanding needed to care for their child, as level three autism can limit some from reaching certain life milestones.

Getting approval from a judge

Depending on the circumstances, a judge may grant guardianship to someone who is nonverbal and can’t perform essential functions of self-care like getting dressed or deciding what to eat. A judge can also establish someone to watch over the child’s inheritance if the parents implemented a will.

Considerations when selecting a guardian for a child with autism

Parents may want to take these factors into account:

  • Does the guardian understand the child’s condition and how it impacts their life?
  • Will the guardian act on behalf of the child’s best interest even if the child doesn’t understand the decisions they make?
  • Are the guardians willing to put the time and effort into selecting a good group home once the child turns 18?
  • Does the guardian understand the child’s routines and environmental preferences?
  • Has the guardian displayed overall good moral character?
  • Is the guardian able to make decisions for the child into their adult life?

Finding a good fit is important

Finding a guardian who can care for a child with level three autism can be challenging, as their needs and preferences can be much different than that of their neurotypical counterparts. Parents of children with level three autism and want to find a guardian may want to contact an experienced attorney. They can often help them establish their preferred caretaker and get it into writing.