All parents play many roles in their children’s lives, from chauffeur to psychologist. But parenting a child who has disabilities often involves even more. Here are some examples:

  • Translator – Does your child struggle with communication? You may find yourself translating at the playground or at the grocery store. 
  • CSE (Committee on Special Education) team member – You are an important contributor to the development of your child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) and advocate at CSE meetings for your child’s educational needs.
  • Nurse and medical advocate – If your child has complex medical needs, you may provide daily medical care for your child, monitor medicines and equipment, and follow up on doctor appointments, among many other tasks.
  • Representative payee – If your child can’t make important financial decisions, you may elect to be your child’s rep payee and therefore are responsible for managing your child’s money and benefits.
  • Self-Direction team member – Not only do you help develop a budget and plan that honors and supports your child’s interests and quality of life, but you may also help to hire, schedule, train, and fire people who work with your child.