Bethany will be turning eighteen in a few months, so we’ve begun the process of filling out our special needs guardianship application.
It’s imperative that my husband, Malcolm and I start this process now, because, once she turns eighteen, it will automatically be assumed that she’s perfectly capable of making medical decisions and other important life choices for herself, despite the fact that her significant cognitive impairments and developmental delays were officially established long ago when she was just two years old.
If we don’t obtain guardianship over Bethany by the time she’s eighteen, her doctors will not have to allow us to accompany her into the examining room, disclose any of her medical information to us, or allow us to make any medical decisions on her behalf.
Doctors could insist that the courts appoint a guardian to make all medical decisions for her.
Because Bethany has a history of brain cancer, a severe seizure disorder, and behavioral issues, we are frequently required to make important and often controversial medical decisions on her behalf.
We certainly don’t want strangers who don’t know or even really care about her making such important life decisions for her!
As part of the special needs guardianship process we need two physicians or one physician and one psychologist to declare that Bethany will always need a guardian and so we took Bethany to her primary care physician last week for that very purpose and I’m very happy to tell you all that she handled the appointment very well!
If you’ve been hanging around here for very long, you know that this is not always the case!
I have extreme doctor visit anxiety and panic attacks for weeks before upcoming appointments because sometimes Bethany is completely uncooperative and even combative during medical appointments.
Sometimes, on appointment days, it’s impossible to get her out of the house and into the car without a struggle.
If we’ve been lucky enough to get her into the car, sometimes it is then impossible to get her out of the car and into the doctor’s office without a struggle!
If we’ve been lucky enough to get her into the doctor’s office , sometimes it is then impossible to get her into the exam room without a struggle.
I could ramble on and on about this, but you get the idea… medical appointments are always huge anxiety filled experiences and emotionally and physically draining for all of us!
But this time, Bethany’s doctor visit was a breeze!!
She cooperated every step of the way and seemed to really be enjoying the whole experience!
Now Malcolm and I can cross this task off our list and get our application notarized and filed!
We feel such a huge sense of accomplishment!
I’ve included a video of a this phenomenal doctor appointment and one that did not go quite as well for comparison!!
You might also be interested in:
Special Needs Future Planning
Special Needs Future Planning 101
When Your Child Turns 18: A Guide to Special Needs Guardianship
Does My Child Need a Guardian?
Be sure to join us every weekend at Special Needs Family Link Share