Extended Family Resources

Helping others to become involved in the life of your child is another important aspect of raising a child with a disability. Siblings, grandparents, and family friends may need additional support as they explore the impact your child's disability has on them.

Resources for Siblings

The siblings of children who have a disability face unique opportunities and challenges due to their sibling's disability. Some resources for siblings include:

Resources for Grandparents

Just as parents have varied emotions surrounding their child's disability, grandparents also experience many reactions and emotions for both their grandchild and their child. Support for grandparents is available through the PACER Center's Grandparent to Grandparent Program.

Involving Others in Your Child's Life

Helping your child make friends and develop a social support network is an important part of being a parent. Additional effort and intentional planning may be needed when your child has a disability. Two programs have been developed to help parents through this process.

  • MAPS - McGill Action Planning System is a planning tool that can be used to find ways to fully include a child with a disability into a specific environment such as a school classroom, community activity, or family event. Books and videos about MAPS are available through Inclusion Press.
  • Circle of Friends is a tool to examine the natural supports and interdependence of people in supporting all people in a community. It is used to facilitate friendships for individuals with disabilities.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu