In this Issue: 
President's Message 
"I Want to Inspire People to Be Safe" - A Life-Changing Story About Bicycle Safety
Enjoying Fourth of July with Kids with Special Needs
Summer Activity Ideas for Children with Special Needs
This is Where We Will Be...

President's Message:
Dear Clients and Friends,
Ah, here we are into June!  These are supposed to be the Lazy Days of Summer?  But not so for many of us.  It seems we are busier than ever.  Since many of the camps and day programs are still on hold, we find ourselves looking for recreation options, both for our children, as well as for our families.  And along with outside activities comes the need to also be aware of cautions we should take.
I invited Bonnie Shay, a good friend and client, to write up her experience with what seemed to be a simple bike ride.  She has some lessons for all of us.  I love that she was willing to share and inspire us to lean towards safety.
Our next news: We are excited to offer an added class to our Parent University Program, which will be put on in July.  We'll be talking about the topic of Future Trustees.  I've hearing a lot about parents' concerns as to who will step into their shoes to manage the financial side of things, as well as make sure benefits stay in place.  I think we have come up with a great solution, and we'll be announcing it in the session in July.  Watch for the invite!
Tell us about your summers.  I'd love to hear the ideas you have created to make this unusual summer one you will not forget!  I'll share a fun time I had a week ago.  A big snapping turtle decided to visit my home, to lay some eggs, and leave her babies future care with me in my yard.  I'm sharing here the actual video of her laying the eggs, as well as her trip back into the lake.  It's not often we (and our children) get to see this, so I thought I'd share how I spend some of my free time enjoying nature.

2020 Turtle Video 2
2020 Turtle Video 1
2020 Turtle Video 1
2020 Turtle Video 2

Warmest regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert,
Founder & President

Powered by Protected Tomorrows and presented by Mary Anne Ehlert, President and Founder of Protected Tomorrows, we are proud to offer you our eighth a series of educational webinar classes: 

 7:00pm - 8:00pm CST

You spend much time and effort creating the Future Life Care Plan for your family member with special needs.  A very important component of that plan is the Special Needs Trust.  The careful selection of those who will make sure your goals for the Special Needs Trust implementation is key to the smooth transition and the future happiness and safety of your family member.   Making sure your Successor Trustees are qualified, caring, and able to fulfill their responsibilities will provide you peace of mind for the future.

In this presentation we will dive deep into:
  • Best qualities for a Trustee/Trustees
  • Trustee duties/job
  • Getting the right documents in order
  • Making your wishes known
  • How to identify potential trustees
  • Recognize the responsibility - does the trustee have what it takes?
  • Benefits of naming a professional or corporate trustee
  • Avoid feeling the "burden" guilt
  • How to Build YOUR Special Needs Trust Dream Team
This is just the start of your enquiry as you begin your special needs estate plan. After this class you will have taken crucial steps on your journey to Peace of Mind for you and Happiness and Safety for your family member.

Mary Anne Ehlert will host this free online Zoom webinar on July 23rd, 2020 from 7:00 - 8:00pm CST.   Click here to register!

"I Want to Inspire People to Be Safe" - A Life-Changing Story About Bicycle Safety
by Bonnie Shay | Protected Tomorrows Family 

This is a real-life story written by Bonnie Shay, a member of the Protected Tomorrows family:

I had a life-changing event when my bicycle helmet saved my life last July which illustrates the critical protection that a bicycle helmet provides.  
Sharing my experience is not for the purpose of relaying a terrible story, but rather to help others stay safe when they ride their bicycle. Here's my story.

I'm an avid bicyclist and ride 4-5 days a week year-round. On July 13th, 2019 I fell to the pavement as I tried to change positions in our bicycle riding group. No one was at fault. It was just one of those random and unexpected accidents.

I was knocked unconscious so was taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance. I was in intensive care for 2.5 days and a regular room for 2.5 days more. My health care team took multiple brain scans and x-rays which revealed 2 skull fractures, a traumatic brain injury and a broken right collar bone.

I was surprised to be told that my care team woke me up every hour for the first few days and asked what my name was, what my birth date was, what day it was and who was our president. This was all to check on the traumatic brain injuries I had and make sure I was improving rather than deteriorating. Fortunately, over the 5 days I was hospitalized my answers to the questions became more accurate as I slowly recovered.

I had my right collar bone operated on which was a complete success thankfully and physical therapy helped me regain my right arm and shoulder mobility.

The traumatic brain injury had longer lasting side effects. Initially my speech was slow and my memory was pretty awful. In fact, I don't remember anything from the first 14 days after the accident. Fortunately, most of the side effects have gone away though I still have blips in my memory and vocabulary on occasion. I now know how brain injuries are really wild and often life altering.

Will I bike again?

2.5 months after the accident I received the okay from my care team to try bicycling again. The first step was to buy a new helmet with improved technology to protect against brain injuries. Thank you technology for finding ways to provide enhanced safety! Then I had my first bicycle ride which felt great though I felt a little rusty not having biked in 2.5 months.


It is scary to realize that I was out having fun and within a split second fell and was seriously injured. I of course wish it didn't happen, but I so appreciate how it has changed me in 3 significant ways.
  1. It has given me reason to re-prioritize my life personally and professionally so that I'm focused on what is the most important and matters the most in life.
  2. I am grateful for every day. Life is precious and can end when you least expect it.
  3. I've added to my life's mission to share my experience with people and illustrate how life-saving a bicycle helmet can be. It has always bothered me when I see people riding without helmets, but now I have a personal experience that heightens the importance of wearing a helmet.
It really worries me when I some families biking together and though the kids are wearing bicycle helmets, the parents are not. It terrifies me to think that the parents could be seriously injured right in front of their children which would be traumatic in many ways, besides the possibility the parent might not survive the accident. And of course, the parents aren't setting a good example for their kids.
In conclusion, my message is to encourage you to wear a bicycle helmet to keep yourself safe. My helmet saved my life and it could save yours too.

Enjoying Fourth of July with Kids with Special Needs -  Tips to make celebrating easier on your child
by Anna Stewart | ESME

An interesting thing about having kids is realizing how our own childhood memories can impact our parenting choices, and sometimes celebrating the holidays brings out the best and the worst in us all. When you add being a  Solo Mom of a child or children with  special needs to the mix, our expectations of what defines a successful celebration can crash right into the realities of having kids whose definition of "success" is very different from our own.

The Fourth of July is one of those celebrations.

When I was a kid and the laws about fireworks were much more relaxed, we would nail pinwheels to the telephone poles, and the dads would light them for us. The neighborhood all came together and lit fireworks. If a kid got scared, he could just go watch from inside his house or snuggle in his mom's lap covered in a blanket. The explosions back then were smaller than the big firework displays at community events these days, and they were much more sensory-friendly.

In many areas, the only way to see fireworks is to gather in large groups and watch a professional show. This is usually a sensory disaster for many of our kids with special needs. It includes large crowds, long lines, loud music, and booming explosions overhead. Most of the time, we just don't go to the big events and choose to watch fireworks on TV instead, or we go to a quiet place further away to watch them in the distance. But sometimes it's a family gathering, and everyone is expected to go. If you really feel you can't say no, then do all you can to make it easier on your child.

Here are some suggestions to help your child with special needs make it through this year's Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Bring headphones, dark glasses, and hats to block out as much of the lights and sounds as possible.
  • If it's your child's first fireworks show, watch some YouTube videos of a big show in advance so she knows what to expect.
  • Give your child an agenda of the evening, and factor in the long lines to get in and out of most venues.
  • Consider alternative transportation to avoid parking-lot backups.
  • Bring healthy snacks, and go light on drinks, as bathrooms may be hard to find and also might have long lines.
  • Bring comfort items. Depending on what your child likes, these could be stuffed animals, books, or a handheld gaming system. Be prepared to ask family members to not judge or try to convince your child to watch if he doesn't want to.

Summer Activity Ideas for Children with Special Needs

When you have children, summer is usually a time dedicated to relaxing, perhaps family vacation, and a more laid back schedule overall. Even before summer rolls around, many parents are on the hunt for activity ideas such as summer camp to keep their children active both physically and mentally.

If you have a child with special needs, keeping their unique challenges in mind helps you sort through the seemingly endless list of fun, summer opportunities. Games for special needs children that include tactile and sensory activities can be not only calming and soothing, but also help with fine motor skills.

Below are few summer activities for special needs students that will keep them active, engaged and happy these next few months.

  • Finger Painting
  • Chalk Art
  • Sensory Bins
  • Indoor Camping
  • Water Bins
  • Summer Camp
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Hide & Go Seek
  • Shapes in the clouds
  • Stars and constellations in the sky
  • Make up the story ending
  • Water Balloon Target
  • Color Match Buckets
  • Petting Zoo
  • Plant a seed or tree
Click here to read more about each activity.

This is Where We Will Be...

Upcoming Speeches/Conferences/Events for 2020:


                Child's Special Needs Trust

                Online Zoom Class

                Online Zoom Class

                Online Zoom Class

               Online Zoom Class

For more information on these  click here!
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