Maisie Cummings-Hamilton’s journey to becoming a special needs parent began in 1978, when she began to fight for her daughter, Nicole — and she hasn’t stopped since.
Maisie Cummings-Hamilton’s journey to becoming a special needs parent began in 1978, when she gave birth to twins three months prematurely. Her son died three days later; her daughter, weighing just 2.5 pounds, was soon diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which is a condition where there is an accumulation of fluid within the brain.
Both were terrible blows for the new mother, but Maisie immediately began to fight for her daughter, Nicole — and she hasn’t stopped since.
Doctors predicted Nicole would never walk or talk, but she proved them wrong – so much so that she graduated high school with a special diploma and then from Miami-Dade Community College with a certificate in customer service.
“I know I’m not going to be around for her for the rest of her life, but I’m trying to put things into place for her.”
Nicole is now 39, living with her mother and younger sister in Dade, Florida. She is a caring, social person who likes to volunteer, go to the movies, and spend time with friends. She really loves to go to work, but she faces difficulty finding long-term employment — something all too common in the special needs community. It’s just one of the reasons her mother was quick to open an ABLE United account when the opportunity arose.
“I know I’m not going to be around for her for the rest of her life, but I’m trying to put things into place for her,” Maisie said.
Maisie and Nicole keep broad goals in mind for the money they save: pay bills, learn to drive someday, stay trained for work. Maisie, who contributes each month via an automatic deduction, encourages everyone that’s eligible for an ABLE United account to open one.
“This is an amazing way to save income for her in case something happens,” she said. “I jumped on it.”