All members of the family are affected by one member with a disability. Every family is unique. Culture, family values, emotions, physical and financial resources, and views on issues all influence the family dynamics. Siblings may feel that all of the attention is focused on the child with a disability and the role of grandparents may change.
Spouses may respond differently to having a child with a disability. The level of care that your child needs, financial concerns, and other challenges may keep you from spending the time you need to protect and strengthen your relationship. Protecting Your Marriage
Carrying the load alone is challenging in the best of circumstances. Single parents of a child with special needs will need extra help and support. Tips for Single Parents of Children with Special Need
A fathers reaction to learning of their child’s special needs can range from shock, to acceptance, to greater love. Fathers may try different approaches to dealing with their child’s needs than those of mothers and they may need different types of support.
Training, assistance and support is available to military personnel who have a child with a special healthcare needs or a disability.
Grandparents are affected twice by a child with a disability. They grieve for their own child, the parent, and for their grandchild. Their love and help can be invaluable. Sometimes they are even called upon to assume a parental role and may require similar support, training, and information to parents.
Brothers and sisters of children with disabilities may have a variety of issues
with which they struggle. They may have difficulty sharing their feelings because they know moms and dads have a heavy load already. Or they may feel bad that they are angry or jealous of the time their sibling requires. They need time to share their feelings openly and know that they are loved. Find out about the Sibling Support Project.
My sister Mary Anne is 25 years old. She lives with my parents, me and our dog, Magic. She has a disability that makes her unable to talk or take care of herself. She has caregivers that help us take care of her and help feed her. Read more about the relationship of two sisters, written by the younger sister of a woman with significant disabilities.
There are thousands of children with special needs waiting for permanent homes in the United States. Children with special needs are typically harder to place than other children, but they can be successfully placed with families who are able to meet the challenge. Federal and state programs offer financial assistance to adoptive parents for special care and services that the child needs. Find out more about Adoption Assistance in Georgia.
Parents with disabilities may find they have specific needs when it comes to parenting a child with or without disabilities. Find out more about parenting when you have a disability.