The Quiet World of Special Needs

Beth Misak |

By Paul Hynes, CFP®
June 2021

Perhaps you or someone you know is impacted by an individual with special needs. Special needs is defined as an individual with a mental, emotional, or physical disability.

There is an entire field dedicated to addressing individuals with special needs. HearthStone has been serving this community for years. This includes serving the attorneys, trust officers, bankers, and others who support the life-long needs of special needs clients. We act as a bridge, connecting those with special needs and the professionals representing them, to financial management and advice.

That’s why we say, “Special needs deserve a special level of trust.”

We invite you to watch this short video to learn more:


Special needs families often live under the radar and are more widespread than you may think. It’s worthwhile to take a moment to explore the special needs community further.

Some examples of special needs are:

  • Autism
  • Physical injury or disabilities
  • ADHD
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Epilepsy
  • Reading and learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities; mental illness

Before the 1960s and 1970s, disabled individuals were often institutionalized. Since then, an emphasis on at-home family care and a degree of social independence has improved the life expectancy of much of this population.

Longer lifespans make long-range planning even more essential. As one example, the life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has increased significantly through the decades. Earlier generations might have lived into young adulthood. Today, adults with Down Syndrome may live much longer. The ramifications for families are significant and span housing, health care, financial stability and more.

Special needs circumstances require a blend of sensitivity, forethought, compassion, pragmatism, long-range planning, flexibility and more. If you or someone you know is facing a special needs situation, reach out to us. We can connect you with appropriate resources or help you weigh various options. We hold a special place for those involved in this special community.


This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.