Now, there are no bright line rules of yes you need a guardian, no you don’t need a guardian. I’m going to kinda give you a laundry list of when you might need a guardian. One of those areas is certain behaviors, if your loved one demonstrates behaviors where they’re injuring themselves or others, there’s high degree of likelihood that you’re going to need to do a guardianship. If your child has poor safety awareness, doesn’t recognize threats to their personal safety, i.e. doesn’t follow traffic when trying to cross the street or in a parking lot doesn’t keep track of cars moving around them. That can warrant a need for a guardianship. If they can’t discriminate between strangers and friends or authority figures, that’s a strong indicator that this person will need a guardian. One question that I ask clients is, “Has your child ever met a stranger?”  and some people look at me kind of confused by, “what do you mean by that?” and others know exactly what I mean and they say, “nope, everybody my child meets is a friend, every person my child meets is somebody they can trust and will share all their personal information with,” so that is a important indictor and I see some heads nodding. Yes?

            -But how does the court figure that out, do you have to, what is your proof that your child can not, because your child may appear normal, like my child you can talk to my child and she is going to sound okay. But everybody is different.

            -Yupp.

            -She has no idea of what’s around her.

            And that’s what the hearing is about, we’re going to get to the hearing, what you have to prove, how do you prove this to the court, right now we’re just talking –

            -Sorry, I’m jumping.

            It’s okay, it’s okay,  we’re just talking about the factors that go into this so you can decide, “hey, okay this is something I need to look into doing” or “no, this isn’t a thing where we need to concern ourselves with”.  If your child is easily manipulated by other people, that is a strong indicator. If they’re disruptive, and by disruptive I don’t mean make vocalizations and make noise but throw furniture and can possibly damage property. And the reason I say these things is, some of these issues up here can lead to adverse interactions with law enforcement. When your child is over the age of 18, they don’t call mom and dad anymore, this is now an adult they’re dealing with and they will potentially process this individual as though there is no disability. The more your child appears disabled, the more likely they are to be treated as though they are disabled. So, if there’s a situation where a person does not appear to be disabled, the police are not going to assume there’s a disability, the police are going to assume the typical faculties to be able to respond to their commands and follow their instructions and if a person doesn’t do that it can lead to a very negative interaction with law enforcement. And if you are not their guardian over the age of 18, you don’t get to participate in that process. If you are their guardian, then most of the police officers I’ve talked to if they know an individual has a legal guardian appointed for them, they will attempt to reach that guardian and might be able to resolve things right then and there. Versus arresting, processing, incarcerating, and then letting a prosecutor decide whether to prosecute or not or a solicitor.