Texas, We Can Do Better For Special Needs

In Texas, there are few residential options for adults with special needs that are high quality and affordable and most are private. The cost of these centers runs $47,000-70,000 per year. If your adult child with special needs goes to a place like this from ages 30-65, the cost is $1-2M. If you couple that with a high divorce rate in the Special Needs community, there is a majority of single parents out there who cannot afford this long-term care. Even married couples struggle with this cost. Imagine if you had to pay for college for 35-40 years.

Texas, we can do better for Special Needs families.
We must.

Welcome Our Newest Advisory Board Member

Welcome to our newest Advisory Board member, Leah Bennett. We are honored!

Leah Bennett, CFA
President, Westwood Trust

Ms. Bennett was appointed President of Westwood Trust, Houston in March 2018. Prior to joining Westwood in 2016, Ms. Bennett was Co-Chief Investment Officer at South Texas Money Management, where she shared responsibility for overseeing the investment strategies of the firm.

Prior to that, she was a Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at King Investment Advisors, Inc. and a Research Analyst for Capital Research & Management. In June of 2017, Ms. Bennett was elected to the CFA Global Board of Governors, where she serves on the Audit and Risk Committee.

She is a former President and Director of CFA Society Houston and is a Co-Founder of the CFA Women in Investment Management initiative and the CFA Institute Global Research Challenge of the Southwest. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, on the Wright Fund Oversight Board at Rice University and on the Advisory Council of Executives (ACEs) at the Bill Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University. Ms. Bennett earned her Bachelor of Science in economics from Texas A&M University.

 

Sharing a “Thank You”

Sharing a “thank you” from a family we were able to help because of YOUR generosity!

My 6-year-old son was diagnosed with ASD in 2014, ADHD and epilepsy in 2017, and focal cortical dysplasia in 2018. With multiple therapies, doctor visits, tests, procedures, medicine, child care, etc.. During this same time frame, I lost my 6 figure job, went through a divorce, was left with almost $100,000 in unsecured debt, and no income. The reality of all of this hits you in the face going about 1000 mph and to say I was overwhelmed, is an understatement. With insurance, my son’s therapies cost between $800-1000 a month. Testing, ambulatory costs, medical expenses not covered by insurance were mounting up and my savings, all 401Ks, and anything else I had were quickly depleted.

I applied to Autism Rescue Angels because I needed help to get the best care for my son. The grant we received allowed my son to proceed with necessary testing, therapies, and medication. We would be lost without the generosity of ARA.

Thank you to Lisa and the ARA board!

A Personal Trainer for Kids and Adults with ASD.

This article offers a look at the wonderful work Eric Chessen is doing at Autism Fitness. Eric is a personal trainer for kids and adults with Autism. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an affordable program like this in the Houston Area? Wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if a grant from a fitness foundation helped to offset costs? I am just putting it out there… Take a look at the story here.

 

Young & Old, Autistic Individuals Have Nowhere To Go

Adolescents and young adults with severe autism may still have the mental age of a child, and short-term care to stabilize those in crisis who are nonverbal or combative is practically nonexistent. Longer-term care can be almost as hard to find. It must be highly specialized, usually involving intensive behavioral therapy; someone with severe autism gets little benefit from traditional psychiatric services.

Christina Jewett’s article has all good points, but this too stands true for adults with Autism. Many people with autism have serious comorbid conditions. Autism is not just mental health it is medical – a whole body disability.

Read Kaiser Health News’ full article here.