Ensuring Son’s Future with a Little Help and Guidance.

“Our hope for Nicholas is a life that continues to be filled with kind, loving, compassionate people who truly care for our son as if he were their own.”

Leslie and Kevin Greene have a love-filled home in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. Their 15-year-old son, Nicholas, has Angelman Syndrome, a neuro-genetic condition that results in severe developmental delays, lack of speech, movement and balance disorders, and seizures. While Nicholas does not speak, he engages abundantly with everyone in his life.

“He’s very sociable,” Kevin said, explaining that his son loves going to the mall, taking walks around their neighborhood, and attending The Watson Institute Education Center in Sewickley. Nicholas has a curious nature, much on display as he navigates his iPad and explores the workings of new toys. “He’s very inquisitive and determined,” said Leslie. “His teachers call him their little engineer.”

Like most families raising children with complex disabilities, thoughts of the future are daunting. Kevin and Leslie want a future for Nicholas that continues the safe, healthy and satisfying life he knows.

The Greene family turned to ACHIEVA Family Trust’s Future Planning Project, supported by United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Greene family met with ACHIEVA Family Trust Attorney Jacki Connell and Director of Education and Outreach Maria Smith to learn about special needs trusts and other options.

“Our staff attorney reviewed the Greene’s current wills and made recommendations for the creation of a special needs trust,” said Maria. “We discussed the possible need for guardianship, future services that Nicholas might need, the importance of getting him enrolled in the Medicaid Waiver program, and how to plan for financial needs.”

“As the Greene family continues on the journey to create their future plan, ACHIEVA will be available to answer any questions and offer resources,” Maria added.

The Greene family is pleased to have found a helping hand to craft a future for Nicholas. “The meeting was very helpful, very detailed,” said Leslie, adding that she and her husband plan to work with ACHIEVA to put a plan in place.

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