1491 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93711 | p/ 559.228.0411

Creating A Plan

A letter to Parents and Professionals

From Denise Allshouse, Founder and  Past President of the Board of Directors

Down Syndrome Association of Central California and mother of four children with developmental disabilities

In the past few years, Mike and I have struggled with the process to plan for the certainty of the day that we would no longer be able to care for our children with disabilities. We worried that no one would know them like we do, their likes, idiosyncrasies, habits, hobbies and the list went on and on. Simply admitting to ourselves that our time here on Earth is finite was a huge step in moving forward with planning. If something were to happen to us, we wanted our children to know that there was a plan in place, and that they would not be alone to face their particular challenges when Mom and Dad die.

As we decided on a guardian if we die before they turn 18, developed a will and began formal­izing our plan, I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders. I don’t like the idea one bit that I won’t be able to care for my children for their whole lifetime but it is a reality. I could sleep better at night, knowing I had done everything within my power to insure their long term comfort even as they worked through the grief process of losing a parent.

The details of wills, special needs trusts, etc. that we put in place were just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as it related to the information I thought it was important for future caregivers to know about my guys. After a survey with our Central Valley Regional Center case managers, it became evident that they too saw a need for some type of education series where parents could not only learn about their planning options, but also have a record for personal information about the person they care for. Hence, the CAP (Creating A Plan) program was born.

We hope that you will join us and use the Footprints for the Future workbook  to begin the journey to peace of mind that the Allshouse family enjoys.


Fresno Creating a Plan

Creating a Plan: Footprints for the Future

This program is aimed to help you plan for the future when you will not be around to take care of your child or loved one with Down syndrome or other disabilities. It is never too early to start planning and we are here to help make the process as painless as possible.  Consisting of 3 mini-workshops, we will hear from local experts on everything from CVRC’s role, financial planning, Special Needs Wills & Trusts, to the small details in-between.


Cost $15 per person or $20 for 2 (Cost includes dinner & ticket for all three mini workshops)

We encourage both parents and older siblings who might become guardians of their siblings at some point in the future (if not already)


Session 1: Thursday, November 7, 2019, 5:30-8:00 pm Welcome!  Starting & understanding the process

Session 2: Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5:30-8:00 pm Financial Planning, Able Accounts, Special Needs Wills & Trusts presented by Paul A Cantrell, CFP®, CLU®, CASL®, FIC

Session 3: Thursday, November 21, 2019, 5:30-8:00 pm Conservatorship presented by Paralegal Services of Fresno

learn more

Download Footprints for the Future Manual

Download SPANISH Footprints for the Future Manual

Download Planning Resources

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