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Planning for the Mentally Retarded: Guidelines for Lawyers



Planning for the Mentally Retarded: Guidelines for Lawyers



Published In



Bibliographic Citation

1962 Wis. L. Rev. 686 (1962)


One of the most perplexing and disturbing problems that parents can face is the birth of a retarded child. Physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers can help the family adjust emotionally to the fact of retardation, but they can't answer the question, "What will happen to my child after I die?" Since planning for the future is one area in which a lawyer is especially trained, he can help allay the fears of parents by working out with them plans for financial and custodial care for their children. Since the problem of a retarded child is one which presents itself only infrequently, if ever, to a lawyer, he is not likely to be familiar with all of the new developments in the field of mental retardation. The purpose of this comment is to summarize some of the Wisconsin provisions and procedures for the mentally retarded and to suggest some methods of handling the different kinds of problems which individual families might have.