Enable Special Needs Planning
Having a child with special needs may make you worry about your future. You may wonder who will take care of them when you can’t anymore. Maybe you are wondering how to best help them to succeed in school, find a career, or find friends. You may have many unanswered questions, and Enable Special Needs Planning is here to answer those questions. Phillip Clark is the founder of Enable SNP and believes that special needs planning should enable loved ones with special needs to live purposeful and impactful lives. Enjoy the interview with Phillip.
Can you describe what Enable Special Needs Planning is?
At ENABLE, we believe that EVERYONE has the ability to impact the lives of others and that special needs planning should enable our loved ones with special needs to live purposeful and impactful lives.
Our 5-step planning system is designed to make it easy, efficient and affordable to create a plan for a family’s future. We understand that planning is often overwhelming, frustrating, and confusing. Our team’s process and guidance takes the guesswork out of planning and allows for the creation of a plan centered on the family and child’s unique abilities, hopes, and dreams.
The true benefit of our process is that families have a team guiding them every step of the way, they’ll know they’re doing everything possible to give their child a great life, and they’ll achieve peace of mind by knowing that both their child and family are well planned for.
What gave you the idea to start the organization?
My younger sister, Sarah, has Down syndrome and is the inspiration for how and why we help families plan in our unique way. Over 10 years ago, as I entered the planning industry, I realized that Special Needs Planning was only focused on helping my family answer the question of, ‘What happens when my parents pass away?’. While I recognized that this was a conversation that my family needed to have, I also believed that planning should be focused on giving my sister the ability to live a purposeful and fulfilled life. Because of my desire to serve my family and other families better, I created ENABLE and developed our comprehensive planning process.
What are the goals of Enable SNP?
Our number one goal is to provide families with the peace of mind that their entire family—including their child with special needs—is well planned for. We also strive to make planning as easy and efficient for families as possible. Our planning platform and online client portal allows for families to easily create a custom plan for their child, from the convenience of their own home.
Our guidance and support throughout the process gives families the reassurance that they are on the right path to creating a plan that they are proud of.
Where do you see the organization going in the next 10 years?
When I first created ENABLE and our planning process, my goal was to serve families in Indiana in a much more comprehensive way than they previously had experienced. But because of our unique approach to planning, families from across the country began reaching out to us, asking for our help. We realized we could have a much greater impact than what we’d set out to have and we now serve families across the country.
In the next 10 years, the ENABLE team will continue to grow and serve families using innovative technology and tools that makes the planning process as easy as possible.
I also want to continually change the negative association that many people have about special needs planning. This negative association, as I mentioned, comes from the traditional approach to planning—only planning for life’s ‘what ifs’. If our mindset and conversations are focused on creating abundant opportunities and allowing our loved ones’ amazing abilities to blossom—planning should be an exciting conversation.
Who can utilize your services? Who does it mostly benefit?
ENABLE serves families across the country who have a child that might need additional support throughout his or her lifetime. While we serve families at any life stage, we are most impactful in families’ lives when the planning conversations begin when a child is young. We encourage families to begin planning as early as possible for two reasons:
- No one is given tomorrow or can predict the future. Families must be proactive so that their plan is successful no matter what unforeseen life events happen.
- Because the main focus of planning is allowing our loved ones with special needs to blossom in their unique abilities that are going to allow them to be impactful, find opportunities for success, and overcome challenges that are standing in the way—it is never too early to begin those conversations.
- What are some of your best stats? (How many people have you helped, etc.)
I am proud that we have the process, systems, and team in place to serve families across the country. Most families request that our team guides them through the entire planning process. Some families only need aspects of our planning services. We are flexible in how we serve families to make sure we are meeting their specific needs.
However, I’m most proud of how many families have utilized our FREE resources. We produced the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Special Needs Planning.” Our team devoted a great deal of time to writing this book that documents our entire planning process and gives families the framework of how to complete their own plan. We’ve had thousands of downloads of that book and have heard feedback from families that they were able to complete their own plan by using this resource.
Is there a fun story that you have about a family or person that you have helped?
It is very rewarding when families share with me the peace of mind and positive outlook for the future they have because of our unique planning process. However, my favorite conversations with families are when they share with me ways that they see their child feeling fulfilled in their life.
Recently we got an update from a family that their child had just gotten a job at a music hall, working at the ticket counter. The focus of this family’s plan was to allow their son to find meaningful employment that gave him a sense of pride and accomplishment. Their son had always had a love for music. After his first day of work, he came home and shouted, “I’ve found my dream job!!” Obviously, the family couldn’t be more proud of their son. Our team at ENABLE are also so proud of his determination, hard work, and accomplishments.
What are some lessons that you have learned through your work in this organization?
In life, it’s so easy to get caught in a limited mindset. Every day, we are surrounded by negative and limited expectations in all aspects of our lives. However, we have a choice of what to focus on. I’ve found that there are beautiful and positive aspects of every situation we come across. If we can focus on these aspects, our outlook and perception of life changes.
In our special needs planning journey, this mindset is the most important factor in the outcome of the plan. If we set out to plan for abundance, our plan will be much more impactful!
What is your best advice for a new parent of a child with special needs?
For a new parent…First off, Congratulations! As a sibling, I can honestly say that my sister is such a blessing in my life and the lives of so many others. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her and she continually teaches me more and more about life. Yes, there were and still are many challenges that we have to face and overcome. However, we are better because she is part of our lives.
Is there anything upcoming that you would like to promote?
Our free e-book, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Special Needs Planning can be downloaded at: www.enablesnp.com/get-the-guide. This is a great place to start for families who are interested in learning more about our philosophy and beliefs about special needs planning.
We also host free workshops (both online and in person) where families are able to get started in their planning process. The discussion during the workshop and resources we provide to families help them begin the conversations of planning for an abundant future. For upcoming dates for these workshops or any other questions, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Media Intern
Emma is a student at Purdue University pursuing her masters in Recreation and Sports Management. She has been involved in the special needs community for many years as a coach with Special Olympics Minnesota, and as a personal care assistant/respite sitter. She has worked in media, marketing, and journalism with various organizations. When Emma has some free time, she enjoys riding horses (she grew up doing barrel racing), baking doughnuts and cake pops (yum!), pursuing her new art interest (wood burning, painting, or drawing), or going for a long fun in sunny weather (her favorite!).