Birth to Age 3

Congratulations on the birth of your child.

You are beginning a new journey and will have a different set of challenges. The planning may be different, but there is a process to follow. 

After many months of anticipation, the day has finally arrived and you are now parents of a wonderful baby.  Some parents may have known about their child’s special needs in advance, but regardless of how much advanced notice, we are never quite prepared.

Just as every child is unique, the way each parent reacts to the situation will be different.  It is common for some parents to think about the immediate impact that having a child with disabilities will have on their lives.  In other cases, a parent will think about the long-term implications of the future. 

We encourage you to live in the present and seek strategies to help plan for the future.


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Unique planning requirements

  • Ask your pediatrician about Early Intervention services in your area.
  • Identify local support agencies that specialize in providing information and services for your child’s specific needs.
  • Do not assume that the Government will fully provide for your child’s lifetime needs. Find your voice for advocacy.
  • Maintain a balance in your overall planning to include the needs for other children as well as your own needs – both personal and financial.
  • Determine an adequate amount of life insurance needed in the event of a premature death of a caregiver.
  • Do NOT establish savings or investment accounts in your child’s name.  These include custodial accounts of Uniform Gifts to Minors Accounts (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors Accounts (UTMA) and possibly 529 college savings accounts.
  • Communicate your plans  with grandparents and others who may be involved in your child’s life personally and financially.

Planning Pointer



When you discover that your child has a disability, it is important to obtain EI services as soon as possible.  Also, look for parent-to-parent programs; other parents can mentor you and share their information and knowledge.

Apply for EI services even if you are not quite ready to start them, there may be a waiting period.

Research shows that the earlier infants receive stimulation and further professional supports such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, the better these children do in reaching milestones. 

Trying to take this all in?

You can download a printable PDF of this page. 

James' family




Going from early intervention services to the public school system was like going from a cruise ship to a dinghy. But going from the public school system to the adult service system was like going from a dinghy to a buoy. We just had to hang on and navigate our way forward.


Check out the Knowledge Bank- with our compliments!

We are committed to sharing free educational resources with all members of the disability community. Our Knowledge Bank has a catalog of  information, along with downloadable checklists and tools, to help you begin your planning journey. We also publish the Special Needs Planning Blog to keep our followers up to date with information and events. And you may sign up to access all of the resources in our Knowledge Bank for FREE!

Ready to start planning?


  • The Special Needs Planning Guide, How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child's Life, Haddad/Nadworny, 2021, Brookes Publishing.

Affinia Financial Group conducts business under the Special Needs Financial Planning name. Advisory services offered through Affinia Financial Group, LLC,  a registered investment advisor. 

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all individuals or will yield positive outcomes. 

The experiences described here may not be representative of any future experience of our clients, nor considered a recommendation of the advisor's services or abilities or indicate a favorable client experience. Individual results will vary.