When a child turns 18 years of age, a parent loses their right to make decisions on behalf of the child. If the child is disabled and unable to make their own decisions, a parent needs to become the court-approved guardian to continue to make choices for their child’s welfare — like making medical, education and social decisions on their behalf.
We provide free legal assistance to indigent parents to establish guardian advocacies for their children with developmental disabilities such as Intellectual Disabilities, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Spina Bifida, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Please view the video below for additional information.
Our office provides free legal services to those trying to obtain guardian advocacy of the developmentally disabled. To see if you qualify, please call our office at 407-834-1660.
As March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we would like to share other programs that provide services to developmentally disabled individuals of all ages:
- Inspire of Central Florida
Inspire offers an Adult Basic Education program which includes classes such as problem solving, money management, communication and safety skills. Inspire helps men and women ages 18 and up, who have completed their formal education, and have a developmental disability diagnosis. Some of these diagnoses include cerebral palsy, autism, spina-bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as individuals who have had a traumatic brain injury. Inspire creates individual support plans to help prepare their Contract Fulfillment Specialists for employment as well as connecting them with employment opportunities. Inspire also has Project G.R.O.W. which provides individuals ages 22 and up who are diagnosed with an intellectual and/or developmental disability with an internship opportunity. Inspire is a wonderful opportunity for individuals with disabilities to gain work experience, money management, and essential survival skills. For more information please visit their website at https://www.inspireofcentralflorida.org/
- UCF C.A.R.D.
UCF C.A.R.D., or Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, is a program that specializes in the support for individuals with Autism, as well as Rett’s Syndrome, Child Disintegrative Disorder, Dual Sensory Impairment, and Single Sensory Impairment. The program provides consultations to help these individuals with therapy plans and treatments, along with seminars to educate families on communication, social skills, family functioning, advocacy, and much more. CARD branches out into seven counties in Central Florida: Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Sumter, Brevard and Volusia. All assistance is free as long as there is documentation of the disability. For more information please visit their website at https://cfl.ucf-card.org/
- UCP of Central Florida
UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) of Central Florida is a service that provides SET (Support, Education, and Therapy) for individuals with not only Cerebral Palsy, but with disabilities such as Autism, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, Speech Delays, Vision and Hearing Impairments. UCP of Central Florida serves individuals from birth to the age of 21. The support portion of UCP of Central Florida focuses on meeting with families and creating unique plans and finding resources to help understand and advocate for the individual. They also hold family counseling and inclusive events or “fun nights” to help create a better bond for the individual and their family. UCP of Central Florida is proud to have a tuition free Charter school with a curriculum that integrates Technology, Arts, and Project Based Learning. On top of these, they also provide Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapy on-site. Besides the therapy they provide at their charter school, they also provide a wide variety of more specific therapies such as their Physical Therapy services (Motor-planning, Seating/Wheelchair Clinic, Postural Training, and over 15 more), their Speech Therapy services (Cochlear Implants Therapy, Feeding/Swallowing Therapy, Articulation Therapy, and 15 others), and their Occupational Therapy services (Social Skills Training, Fine Motor Skills Training, Pre-Writing/Writing Skills, and over 15 more). There are seven campuses over Central Florida, including one in Lake Mary. For more information please visit their website at https://www.ucpcfl.org/
- ABLE United
ABLE United creates accounts that help families save up money, tax free, without affecting incoming Disability Benefits. An individual with a disability may only have one ABLE account. There are three eligibility requirements for opening an ABLE United account. To meet the requirements, the individual must be a Florida resident, a qualifying disability, and a must meet the age requirement for the disability’s onset. ABLE also lists what qualified disabilities expenses include, so families/guardians of the individual know what is considered tax-free. Generally, funds in (or withdrawn from) an ABLE United account are disregarded when determining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid eligibility. For more information please visit their website at https://www.ableunited.com/
- Altamonte Springs Special Needs Recreation and the Advisory Board for the Disabled
The City of Altamonte Springs Special Needs Recreation and the Advisory Board for the Disabled, Inc. have offered a wide variety of activities made for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. Activities range from as low as $2-$50. For individuals 13 and up, especially those who are currently on summer break, these activities could have individuals engaged in social and recreational programs. Some of these activities include day programs, dance training, social outings, field trips, and much more. All participants must have a current Participant Membership Form on file in order to attend any of the events and functions of Altamonte Springs Recreation or the Advisory Board for the Disabled. This program also offers S.T.O.P. (Saturday Time Out for Parents) trips held one Saturday of each month that takes these individuals on educational/entertaining field trips. For more information please visit their website at http://www.altamonte.org/376/Special-Needs