ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Most parents raising kids with Down Syndrome will tell you their kids are empathetic and loving but require extra attention and that doesn’t stop when they turn eighteen. Here’s the challenge: legally, parents may no longer have any say. However, there is a program helping parents and young adults with special needs navigate the legal system.
Twenty-one-year-old Annie Cyr is determined and funny. Annie loves the water and takes scuba lessons at a local pool. At home, she’s proud to show off her other accomplishments. But as Annie was navigating high school, Lynn worried about what was coming next. “It doesn’t matter what your functionality is. At 18 years old, you are an adult,” Lynn Thibodeau-Cyr, Annie’s Mother, explained.
Attorney Catherine Davey specialized in estate planning, guardianship and special needs trusts, even before her daughter Mae, now six, was born. “She’s got blonde hair, blue eyes, big purple glasses, and a giant personality and she has Down Syndrome,” Davey said. She uses her legal expertise to help families access their adult child’s medical records and make financial decisions on their behalf. Davey also organizes a free seminar in April and September called Low Down on the Law to empower families with education.
Thibodeau-Cyr credits Davey with helping her become Annie’s guardian advocate and plan for her future. Davey says daughter Mae is her inspiration. “My kid’s amazing. My kid has given me purpose and meaning and drive. I’ll never retire. I’ll never quit doing what I’m doing,” Davey said.
In addition to the Low Down on the Law program, Catherine Davey established a non-profit organization, No Down Side to match adults with developmental delays with employers. Families looking for more information can go to www.nodownside.org or www.daveylg.com. Nationwide, families can search “supported decision making” and your state to find organizations near you with local resources.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Marketing Director, Davey Law Group
Contributor(s) to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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