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Raising a Child with Special Needs and Filing for Bankruptcy

Raising a Child with Special Needs and Filing for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is hard on anyone but is much more difficult when you are raising a child with special needs. The rates of several disability types have risen drastically; in recent years, the prevalence of autism has gone from 1 in 150 births to 1 in 68, according to the CDC. Parents filing for bankruptcy often worry about how their new financial situation will influence their ability to care for a child with special needs.

Seek Help

Talk with your child’s healthcare professionals such as doctors, therapists, or other care providers so they know about your situation. Sometimes, hospitals and clinics will work with families to reduce the amount of bills or discharge payment completely if you’re filing for bankruptcy. Tell care providers if you are filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, as this will influence the kind of help they offer.

Don’t Blame Anyone for Filing for Bankruptcy

Never make your child with special needs feel as if the bankruptcy is his or her fault – because it isn’t. Most parents would never belittle children to their face, but stressed comments or overheard worrying can affect them as well. Reassure them that they are not to blame for your filing for bankruptcy. Also, continue focusing on your child’s strengths and what he or she can do.

Keep Daily Life as Normal as Possible

Ensure your child with special needs still has a regular schedule. Plan time for fun activities and quiet time. Don’t deny every request to do something enjoyable or say something like, “We can’t do that because we can barely afford to keep you in therapy.” This causes guilt and other emotional issues. Now more than ever, take time to enjoy your child with special needs.

If you feel overwhelmed and you need financial help, please contact us.

American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.


Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].

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