Special Needs Children

It is staggering how many children in Maryland, and in the entire country, are experiencing, and have been diagnosed with, an autism spectrum disorder, Aspergers syndrome, or other developmental delays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network (ADDM) performed evaluations of the health and educational records of all 8-year-old children in six states, including Maryland, and estimate that in 2000 and 2002 the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was 1 out of 150. Merely two years later, the number of 8-year-old children diagnosed with ASD jumped to 1 out of 125. Astoundingly, the number of children diagnosed with ASD in 2006 increased to 1 in 110, and in 2008 it rose to 1 in 88.

In March 2014 the ADDM produced a daunting report in which the results show the overall occurrence of children diagnosed with ASD as 1 in 60. A separate report conducted in Maryland showed that the number of children diagnosed with ASD in Maryland was consistent with the 2014 ADDM study, 1 in 60.

Most of us have had personal experiences with children with ASD in our own families or with the children of close friends. This heart-breaking ailment that impairs a child’s cognitive functioning and physical capabilities has infiltrated our lives and is an ever-increasing presence in our lives and the lives of our children. Parents of children with ASD struggle to find government and private services to assist them in improving their children’s lives, including medical treatments, mental health services, psychiatric treatment, speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, appropriate schooling, and appropriate child care assistance. The list of needs for ASD children, and their parents, is exhaustive.

The financial implications can be overwhelming as the parents cope with a child facing this serious adversity. The difficulties of caring for a special needs child can affect the entire extended family unit. Families with special needs children have a greater than average incident of divorce. Many marriages crumble under this immense pressure.

Every case is different. Every child’s needs are unique. It is essential that you obtain legal counsel experienced in assisting families with special needs children if you are contemplating divorce, a complaint for custody, or the modification of custody, child support, visitation, and any other related legal proceedings that may affect the best interest of a child. We can assist you in navigating your options and retaining the appropriate professional specialists who are necessary in both the litigation, or mediation, of any domestic dispute concerning a special needs child.

Planta & Satin understands the issues unique to special needs children and their families, and we have command of the laws to be applied to your dispute. Planta & Satin works closely with experts who can provide information, testimony, advice, and, in many cases, personal knowledge and experience to share related to special needs children and families. Our knowledge and experience make us well-suited to address your needs and the special needs of your child, and to advocate for the best interests of your family.