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5 Things I wish I knew before Autism

Tamara Wood is a proud mother of two amazing boys. After searching for a solution for her son Alex, who is affected by Autism, Tamara found the AngelSense solution for her family. It gave her a great deal of peace of mind, and her enthusiasm for the company only increased – she joined the AngelSense team as a customer care specialist.

tamara's familyI am the mother to two wonderful little boys, one who has autism and one who is “normal” (whatever that is!). There are many things we didn’t know before we became parents, and even less when you hear a word like “autism.” There are somethings I wish I had known before my son was born, and I wish I could share them with every parent out there.

 

Insurance

Before autism, the most I cared to know – or needed to know – about insurance was copay, deductible, out-of-pocket, yada, yada, yada… I wish I had known all of the loopholes and red tape that can make your head spin concerning HPCPS and ICD-9 codes and all of those neat little “tricks” that you should really do to make your life easier. Like keeping track of who I spoke to and that gosh darnit they did say that! – this is more than just a good idea, it is crucial people! Or how a medical/insurance journal with a history of therapies, doctors, important health info, and bills is beyond just being organized; it is a savior of brain cells at those times when my brain hurts on marathon phone call days.

Acronyms

I wish I had known that I was going to be learning another language for school/therapy. ARD, AU, IEP, BIP, AT, ESY, LRE, OT, PT, ST, etc., just to name a few. Now these acronyms have been a part of our lives for almost 7 years and just slip off the tongue, but boy, can those ARD meetings be confusing when they are literally speaking a different language.

The AUsomeness of the autism community

I wish I had known going in that I was going to be a part of a very special group of families that are so free with advice, support, resources, and all around laughs to help you through. I can’t express how much of a release it is to talk to others that understand and can find the humor in our daily lives. Swapping public meltdown stories, how talented my son is at finger painting his whole room at 3am (that smell is not funny at 3am), and just being able to relax with others who “get it” is very important.

Romance

I wish I had known that the definition of romance was going to change. Finding an experienced sitter, having money, having time, and honestly just having the energy are just some of the factors. Romance in our house is my husband doing the dishes for me, helping each other clean up the 3am finger painting, being an eternal tag team for when the other has just had too much, and dates that are only retreating to another room to sit and watch TV because we just don’t have the energy to do much else. And finding that this can be enough.

The Box

I wish that I had known that thinking outside of the box was going to actually be the only way of thinking from then on. Our life is the equivalent of having a beautiful boy with the curiosity and development of a toddler and the physical ability of a 10 year old – for the past 8 years. This makes thinking about safety (and sanity) a very big part of our lives. Going out to eat, planning a date, going to the store, holidays, and even just rearranging the furniture require quite a bit of resourcefulness and thinking outside the box.

It has been a rough road at times, but I can’t imagine our lives any differently and I wouldn’t trade our kids for anything – we love them just the way they are. The autism community has brought me something else – recently, I have been blessed to be able to work from home in order to take care of him. And I am doubly blessed to be able to work for AngelSense, a company that helps us keep him safe by knowing where he is at all times and being able to listen to him throughout his day.

Founded by parents of special needs children, and employing other special needs’ parents, AngelSense provides so much peace of mind in so many ways. With the Guardian GPS device I can monitor my son through out his day, when he is out of our sight. I can check on him from my smartphone or the computer, and make sure he’s where I want him to be! Working for a company that understands me and my family has been just another example of the wonderful way we all support each other. I know so much now and hope that sharing my experience helps someone who might feel alone today.

Visit AngelSense at: https://www.angelsense.com.

 

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Countering snoring in children with Autism

It is not uncommon for toddlers and kids to experience trouble in enjoying an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Discomfort with the darkness, snoring, fear of dreams, and even the habits of sleep walking are deemed pretty routine affairs with children. However, if a child has had a history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), any instances of troubled sleeping should never be ignored. These problems could well be taken as a measure of the ravages of ASD caused in the body. More importantly, by being conscious of the need to identify such uncommon sleep habits in children is the first step towards alleviating them, as it is certainly possible to do so, with just a few easy to understand and implement behavior strategies. Here, we try to understand the links between autism and sleeping troubles such as snoring, and also try to tell you more about the simple remedies for such situations.

Immobilier

Why children suffering from Autism are more prone to develop the habit of snoring?

There’s enough medical literature and research documentation to establish that children suffering from ASD are not great sleepers. Among the most common sleeping problems they exhibit are insomnia and sleep apnoea, which is primarily linked to snoring. Here are some of the causes that lead to these observations –

  • Children with ASD also suffer from problems such as throat infections, ear infections, and coughing. This leads them into sleeping with their mouths open, a natural reaction when clogged body airways necessitate more inhalation of air. This majorly leads to snoring in children diagnosed with autism.
  • Lack of communicative powers rendering children unable to tell their parents as to what they want to be able to sleep better, and unnatural emotional attachment to sleeping patterns which can get easily violated, are two lesser known yet correlated causes leading to disturbed sleep patterns, sleep apnea in general, and snoring in particular.
  • Anxiety is a serious deterrent for sleep in children being afflicted with ASD, which slowly but surely leads children into the habit of waking up a few minutes after falling asleep. This is known to worsen snoring in children.

Autism 2

Snoring solutions to bless children with uninterrupted sleep

A child losing their sleep is certainly not a great sign, and needs to be set right at the earliest, as lack of proper sleep can lead to several health complications in the child. Here are some effective snoring solutions and tips that can help children sleep better.

  • Among the simplest anti-snoring aids is an elevated neck position for the child. Such a position prevents the tongue from falling back in the mouth, and hence prevents snoring.
  • Give a warm bath to the child before putting it off to sleep, so that the airways in the nostrils and throat get cleared up and snoring can be avoided.
  • Consider using anti-snoring devices such as masks and mouthguards, as there are several manufacturers that make child-safe anti-snoring devices.
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Disability Savings Benefits For Low-Income Families With Special Needs

Canada Disability Savings Bonds

khunaspix

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a wonderful savings vehicle for people with prolonged disability. It may attract two key benefits from the government. One is the Canada Disability Savings Grants, a very helpful matching grant to enhance the savings for the person with special needs. However, I’m often being asked the question: “If a low-income family could not afford to make any contribution now, how could they get benefited from having a RDSP account?” This is when the Canada Disability Savings Bonds (CDSB) comes into play.

 

The CDSB is designed to provide extra funding for low-income families with disability. Unlike the matching grants, the CDSB does not require the family with disability to make any contribution. The government will solely look at the net family income, and decide how much disability savings bond will be deposited into the disabled person’s RDSP account. The maximum lifetime CDSB one may receive from the government is $20,000.

According to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Website:

“The amount of the bond is based on the beneficiary’s family income. The beneficiary family income thresholds are indexed each year to inflation. The income thresholds for 2013 are as follows:

  • $25,356 or less (or if the holder is a public institution), the bond is $1,000;
  • between $25,356 and $43,561, part of the $1,000 is based on the formula in the Canada Disability Savings Act;
  • more than $43,561, no bond is paid.”

* Note that for minor beneficiary, the family net income is that of his or her parents, while beneficiary over the age of majority, the family net income is that of the beneficiary and his or her spouse, if applicable.

Another very appealing rule is that unclaimed CDSBs may be carried forwarded. One may claim back the amount up to 2008 or the year the beneficiary is eligible for the disability tax credit, whichever comes the later. The maximum carried forward period can last for 10 years.

 

Let me show you a real life example:

Awhile ago, I met a single mother where the child is diagnosed with autism. In our conservation, she revealed that she was unemployed for a long time, and did not have much savings to make any contribution into the RDSP account. Knowing that the child was already approved with the disability tax credit before 2008, I advised her to setup the RDSP account.

Given that her net family income has always been below the first threshold of $25,356, the child is entitled to $1000 of bonds since 2008. (Note that the income thresholds are indexed each year to inflation). After we setup the RDSP, the government has deposited $6000 into the account. (This is the 6 years of disability savings bonds from 2008 to 2013)

The $6000 is now growing within the investment portfolio that is suitable for this family. The best thing is this family did not even contribute a single dollar into the RDSP to make this happen.

 

Disclaimer:
This article is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult an appropriate professional regarding your particular circumstances. This article does not constitute an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. References in this article to third party goods or services should not be regarded as an endorsement of these goods or services. This article is intended for Ontario, Canadian residents only and the information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The owner of this article is not liable for any inaccuracies in the information provided. Image Courtesy khunaspix/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Have any questions about the Registered Disability Savings Plan? Feel free to connect with me!

 

Samuel Li
Investment Fund Advisor | Investia Financial Services Inc.
Sales Manager & Financial Consultant | Excel Insurance Agency Inc.
Mobile: 647-294-0702
Email: Samuel@SamuelConsultant.com
Website: http//SamuelConsultant.com
80 Acadia Ave., Suite 205, Markham, Ontario. L3R9V1

 

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Up To $90,000 Disability Savings Benefit From The Government

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

benefits

Whenever I talk to clients who have disabled family member, they usually show huge concern whether there will be enough financial resources for the disabled dependent. It is not hard to understand that people with special needs and their loved ones could face a distinct set of financial challenges throughout their lives. To help address these challenges, the Government of Canada introduced the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) back in 2008. This is a wonderful saving tool designed to help building long-term savings for disabled persons. The RDSP makes it easier to accumulate funds by providing assisted savings and tax-deferred investment growth.

 

How Does It Work?

There are two key benefits within the RDSP, they are the Canada Disability Savings Grants (CDSGs) and Canada Disability Savings Grants (CDSBs).

The Canada Disability Savings Grants (CDSGs) is a matching grant where the government will deposit the funding into your RDSP account based on your family income and your contribution. The maximum lifetime benefit per beneficiary is up to $70,000. Although it varies from each individual case, many families that I’m working with did receive up to 300% of the matching grants on a portion of their contribution.

To provide even more assistance for low income families with disabilities, there is the Canada Disability Savings Bonds (CDSBs). Unlike the matching grant, the disability savings bonds do not require any contribution. The government will review solely on the family income. If the income is not beyond the program’s limit, up to $1000/year will be deposited into the RDSP account. The maximum lifetime benefit per beneficiary is up to $20,000.

 

Who is Eligible for RDSP?
A Canadian resident with SIN, contributions to the RDSP can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59, and one must be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

However, the government grants and bonds will only be paid until December 31 of the year the beneficiary turns 49. The DTC is available to individuals who have mental or physical impairments that markedly restrict their ability to perform one or more of the basic activities of living (i.e., speaking, hearing or walking). The impairment must be expected to last a period of one or more years, and a physician must certify the extent of the disability. Individuals can apply to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the DTC using form T2201.

 

Disclaimer:
This article is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult an appropriate professional regarding your particular circumstances. This article does not constitute an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. References in this article to third party goods or services should not be regarded as an endorsement of these goods or services. This article is intended for Ontario, Canadian residents only and the information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The owner of this article is not liable for any inaccuracies in the information provided.Image Courtesy Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Samuel Li,
Investment Fund Advisor | Investia Financial Services Inc.
Sales Manager & Financial Consultant | Excel Insurance Agency Inc.
Mobile: 647-294-0702
Email: Samuel@SamuelConsultant.com
Website: http//SamuelConsultant.com
80 Acadia Ave., Suite 205, Markham, Ontario. L3R9V1

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Spread the word to end the word – a suggested suitable replacement

Spread the word to end the word

Today is, once again, the day to end the word. The “r-word”.  Really though, it’s every day, isn’t it? They just make official days to get us bloggers all talking about it at the same time. Which is brilliant. But really, we all need to be talking about it any time the word comes up or when ever the opportunity arises. Not to preach to our friends, family or even strangers about how we want them to talk but to suggest that there may be a better way.

That’s how I look at this, as an opportunity. And since I’ve been at this for a while, I think I know my audience (that’s you) pretty well. Which means that I know you’ve already heard about this and more so, most likely already removed that word from your vocabulary. Even if not, for what ever reason, you’ve at least heard of it and made your decision. (although I do hope you’ll reconsider it someday)

So I won’t sit here and preach to you. You know how it hurts me since I have a child with special needs. You know how it hurts others from those in care facilities to those who simply learn at a slower rate than “normal.” You know all the things I could possibly say to you to convince you to stop using that word.

Instead, I would ask that you seize your opportunities. As awkward as they may be or as shy as you may be or as uncomfortable as it may become, speak up.

Whether it’s a family member, an old friend or some person on the bus, speak up. Be nice, don’t be preachy, and just gently suggest that you and many people find that word offensive no matter how it’s used or in which way it’s intended. Suggest that, even though you valuable their right to say and do as they please, you just request that they understand that it is offensive to many and to take the time to consider all that this implies.

There is one word that I often suggest as a replacement, not to be used in place of, but to be thought of instead. An r-word to replace an r-word.

That word is respect.

When a person is about to or has already used the r-word, think about the other r-word, respect. Respect those that find it offensive. Respect those that are having to hear it. Respect those that are indirectly implied by your using it. Respect yourself enough to have a more evolved vocabulary and sense of community.

You don’t have to respect an individual, in the way in which you’d respect a peer, but to respect the ideal behind those are trying to do something right. For the good of the children, the children’s parents and everyone around the world.

So no, I’m not going to ask that you not use the word. All I ask is that you take today and any day to speak up when someone does. Be respectful in suggesting that they do the same.

And in the mean time, read and share because the more that we get the word out to the world, the faster we can get the word out of the world.

More:

End The Word

Sticks and Stones

What’s in a word?

Being Retarded

 

If you have written a post or found a post about this, please share and I’ll add it to the list above.

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