As a caregiver or family member of someone with special needs, you might often wonder how to empower your loved one to make their own decisions. That’s where supported decision-making can help. This innovative approach promotes autonomy and dignity for individuals with disabilities by providing them with the assistance they need to make informed life choices.

At Shields Law, we know the importance of supported decision-making and strive to incorporate this approach into our legal practices. We work closely with families and caregivers to ensure their loved ones have the necessary support to make decisions that align with their goals and values. With our support, you can feel confident that your loved one will have the tools to make informed decisions and live their best life.

What is Supported Decision Making?

Supported decision-making is when individuals with disabilities have the necessary information, tools, and resources to make decisions. It involves identifying and understanding the individual’s preferences, needs, and desires and providing them with the necessary support and guidance to make informed decisions.

This can include assistance with communication, accessing information, and understanding the implications of different options. The goal of supported decision-making is to empower individuals to make their own choices and maintain control over their lives while still receiving the necessary support to ensure their health, safety, and well-being.

How Supported Decision-Making Benefits Your Special Needs Plan

Supported decision-making empowers individuals with disabilities by giving them the tools to make informed choices about their lives.

Here are three key benefits of this approach:

  1. Enhanced Self-Determination: By participating in decision-making, your loved one gains control over their life, improving self-esteem and fostering independence.
  2. Better Outcomes: When individuals with disabilities are involved in decisions that directly affect them, they’re more likely to be invested in those choices – leading to better outcomes tailored to their unique needs.
  3. Stronger Relationships: Involving your loved one in important decisions fosters open communication and trust within families and support networks.

With the guidance of a trusted network of supporters, such as family members or legal professionals like our team at Shields Law, people with special needs can navigate complex decisions while retaining control over their destinies.

Supported-Decision Making as an Alternative to Guardianship

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is an alternative to guardianship that allows individuals with disabilities to make their own decisions with the help of supporters they choose. SDM recognizes that individuals with disabilities have the right to make decisions for themselves and provides them with the necessary support and resources. This approach is based on the principle of self-determination, which emphasizes the importance of autonomy and independence for individuals with disabilities.

On the other hand, guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a guardian to make decisions for a person with a disability who has been deemed unable to make decisions for themselves. This restrictive and often permanent arrangement can limit individuals’ ability to exercise their rights and make choices for themselves. While guardianship may be necessary in some cases, it should be considered a last resort after other options, such as SDM, have been explored.

Contact Shields Law for Supported Decision-Making Help

At Shields Law, we understand that navigating life with special needs can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our approach ensures you have a strong advocate as you make important decisions for yourself or your loved ones.

We focus on supported decision-making, which means we’ll work closely with you to understand your unique needs and preferences while providing guidance and resources to help you make well-informed choices. Our special needs planning lawyer is dedicated to helping your loved one maintain control over their lives and achieve the independence they desire.

Contact us today to create a brighter future for you and your family.