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 such as sexuality, 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.
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.
There is a Parent Training and Information Center just for military personnel who have a child with a disability. The staff members of this center are parents from military families who understand your challenges.
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.
Brothers and sisters of children with disabilities may have a variety of issues with which they struggle. They may have difficulty sharing those because they know moms and dads have a heavy loadalready. 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.
Foster and Adoptive Families