38 THE QUEENS COURIER • QUEENS BUSINESS • AUGUST 8, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Elder Law Minute TM
Children With Special Needs- Each Child is Unique
BY RONALD A. FATOULLAH, ESQ.
AND STACEY MESHNICK, ESQ.
Parents of children with disabilities or
special needs share concerns common
to all parents, but they also have additional
concerns that are unique to their
children’s disabilities. As elder care attorneys
we frequently work with parents and
guardians to ensure that their children
have access to any and all government
benefi ts that they may be entitled to, that
an appropriate estate plan is developed
for the legally responsible caregiver(s) as
well as the disabled child, and that a comprehensive
personal, medical, legal and
fi nancial plan is outlined for the present,
near future and for when the legally
responsible individual has passed away
and the child may be left alone.
Special needs is a very broad term and
every situation is unique. Pick any two
families of children with special needs
and they may seem to have little in common.
A family dealing with a child’s
developmental delays will have diff erent
concerns than one dealing with chronic
illness. Th ese families will have diff erent
concerns than ones dealing with mental
illness, learning problems, or behavioral
We are excited to share a recent initiative
by Kohl’s Department Store. Th e
store recently made headlines for integrating
clothing designed for children
with special needs into their popular
children’s brands. In addition to having
diaper and wheelchair friendly clothing,
the new “adaptive” collection off ers
garments with fl at seams, wider neck
and hemlines, longer lengths, abdominal
access, two-way zippers, reinforced belt
loops and hook and loop closures. Th e
precedent established by Kohl’s adaptive
attire is a step towards inclusion for children
with special needs.
Kohl’s has stressed that one of their
main goals was to make the adaptive
line fashionable as well as functional.
Adaptive clothing would be counterintuitive
if it made its wearers conspicuous.
To that end, an Associate
Product Manager for one of Kohl’s children’s
brands spoke about the company’s
commitment to accommodation,
“Just because we are creating clothing
for unique needs doesn’t mean that it
needs to be basic…We have made every
eff ort to ensure that the product looks as
close to our core line as possible…” (disabilityscoop).
Th e clothing was designed
to be easy for the wearer or guardian
to take on or off , while allowing the
wearer to feel stylish and confi dent.
Parents of children with special needs
will undoubtedly be delighted to be able
to dress their kids in clothing that they
are comfortable in and excited to wear.
Preparing for the future of individuals
with special needs is just as important
as ensuring their present well-being.
For this reason, it is imperative that
the parents/guardians of such individuals
meet with an elder care attorney to
establish an appropriate plan. When a
person with special needs reaches the
age of 18, his/her parents will no longer
be able to make the decisions that they
were able to make during their childhood.
Th is can be a cause for concern,
namely if the individual with special
needs lacks the capacity to care for himself/
herself and manage the documentation
that protects assets and government
benefi ts. (e.g. SSI and Medicaid). In this
case, the parents/guardians will likely
pursue an adult guardianship. An elder
law attorney can help in determining
whether a fi rst party supplemental needs
trust (“SNT”) or third-party supplemental
needs trust is the right tool to protect
the child’s assets and benefi ts.
Parents/guardians should enlist the
help of a trusted elder law attorney to
fi gure out a plan that proves most benefi
cial to their child and estate.
Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the founder
of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates,
a law fi rm that concentrates in elder
law, estate planning, Medicaid planning,
guardianships, estate administration,
trusts, wills, and real estate.
Th e law fi rm can be reached at 718-
261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at
1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES.
Mr. Fatoullah is also a partner with
Advice Period, a wealth management
fi rm that provides a continuum of fi nancial
and investment advice for individuals
and businesses, and he can be
reached at 424-256-7273.
Are you Emotionally Intelligent?
Do you know someone
who can keep calm in a crisis
and treat people with empathy?
Th is person likely has
high emotional intelligence.
Why is high emotional
intelligence important? Th e
best managers inspire confi
dence, trust and long-term
growth for their teams. In
order to do that managers
need to build strong relationships,
manage diffi cult situations
eff ectively and show resilience
in the face of adversity.
Th ey understand what to say
to make people feel better and
they know how to inspire them to act.
All these traits require high emotional
intelligence. You can improve your emotional
intelligence by focusing on the
four key factors below:
Self-Awareness – the ability to be
aware of your emotions as
you are having them.
Ways to Improve
• Learn mindfulness
– keep track of your emotions
through the day by
writing in a journal.
• Slow down – When
you experience anger or
other strong emotions, slow
down to examine why.
Self-Management – the
ability to stay in control of
your behaviors and emotions.
Ways to Improve Self-
• Know your triggers – What causes you
to become stressed?
• Pause and refl ect before reacting.
• Practice deep-breathing exercises to
Social Awareness – Th e ability to
communicate and interact empathetically
with other people.
Ways to Improve
• Start by thinking about other people’s
viewpoints. Imagine how they may be
• Use active listening skills when people
express their emotions to you.
• Try not to interrupt or talk about your
own feelings during the conversation.
• Watch other people’s body language.
Relationship-Management – the ability
to use social skills that help us to
infl uence, inspire, coach and build eff ective
Ways to Improve Relationship-
• Improve communication skills
• Practice active listening
• Learn confl ict resolution skills
• Improve emotional balance
• Create new habits
Remember, no matter what the situation,
you can always choose how you
react to it. High emotional intelligence
can be learned and developed over time.
When you focus on improving these four
key factors you will begin to develop trust
and rapport with people and increase
your emotional intelligence. Th is will
increase your leadership potential and
improve the quality of your relationships.
Mindy Stern, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ACC
is a trusted HR advisor, career and leadership
coach, author, speaker and president
of AIM Resource Group Inc. Visit
the website at www.aimresourcegroup.
com or contact mstern@aimresourcegroup.
com to learn how to improve your