Where to Turn When Raising a Special Needs Child

Guests: Heath Burch and Desiree Cole | Season 10, Ep. 420

“The families we serve can feel isolated – even scared at times. We want to provide a tangible first step that brings comfort and creates a path.” – Heath Burch

The latest research shows 1 in 44 children are on the autism spectrum – a major change from the early 2000s when those numbers were 1 in 150. While environmental factors are something to consider, researchers say we have made advances over time that have helped build a greater understanding and awareness to it. During today’s show, Dr. Michelle Robin welcomes Heath Burch from CommunityAmerica Credit Union to talk about their Special Needs Planning Center. Heath shares an inspiring and personal story about why he and his business partner, Scott Adams, decided to launch this center. Both of them quickly realized that families oftentimes felt stuck when raising a child with special needs. They couldn’t rely on a book or course to walk them through each of their unique situations – which is what inspired them to do something about it. Today, they have helped guide and connect thousands of families to resources that may be available to them. They have helped create a path forward for families to be better equipped and financially prepared to raise a special needs child in the now, but also provide hope for the road ahead. Desiree Cole, one of Heath’s clients, joins in on the conversation to speak to what the Special Needs Planning Center has done for her family as they begin raising their son who is on the spectrum. We encourage you to share this episode with any friends or family who may benefit from having this resource introduced in their lives!

About Today’s Guest and Co-Host:

Helping members create a path to their financial goals drive Heath Burch’s passion for being an advisor. His focus is to leverage two decades of experience as an advisor to help members navigate their complex financial planning needs. From integrating wealth management plans with trust and estate plans to diversifying wealth in a business, he empowers members to manage the transition of their wealth to the next generation. Heath has also dedicated focus on assisting families who have loved ones with special needs, building plans that can support more than one generation. His wife, Martha, and three sons are invested in being involved in the Kansas City community that they love. He currently sits as the President of the Board for Variety Children’s Charity of Kansas City and as chair of the Board of Directors for the Liberty Education Foundation.

Desiree Cole is the Content Director and Brand Manager at Small Changes Big Shifts. She creates, writes, and manages the voice and content for the brand. She has loved all things wellness since she was introduced to the lifestyle in college, where she learned to cook more plant-based and care for the whole body in holistic ways. She began her journalism career in Chicago and New York City, where she worked in Manhattan as an editor for news agencies, magazines, and book publishing. She’s part of the Small Changes Big Shifts team because she believes words are powerful messengers to the spirit, heart, and mind. Desiree was born and raised in Kansas City, and believes there’s no place like it. Her husband (Zach), son (Ollie), and two golden retrievers (Linus and Lucy) live in a loud and happy house from its eight paws and the most joyful little boy in the world who loves his dogs.


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