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Raising Grandchildren with Disabilities

June 23, 2013

Did you know over 60 percent of people with disabilities are cared for by family members? This statistic includes grandparents who serve as primary caregivers for their grandchildren. All too often, grandparents in these positions are overlooked. As a result, there is very little information and support available for this demographic.


Acting as parent for a second time, especially with the added complexity of disability, makes an individual in this group more prone to financial difficulties, stress, and emotional challenges. In addition, older adults often have their own health issues to manage. Still, it is entirely natural that grandparents step into a parenting role if there is a need.

Raising children with disabilities is a big job. Are you a grandparent who serves as the primary caregiver for your grandchild? If so, Disability Living hopes to connect with you this week. Comment on some of the following posts and teach us more about your world.

This Week on Disability Living: Raising Grandchildren with Disabilities

Parenting Grandparents Find Support

There is little research available on grandparents who serve as primary caregivers for disabled children. From an outside perspective, it is hard to know what unique struggles they face and if extra help is required. Should awareness of this living situation grow, more support will become available.

Does Your Grandchild Need to be in a Special Education Class?

The education system has changed a lot in recent decades. As a primary guardian and caregiver of a disabled child, it is important to know how special education classes test and operate. Also, having the ability to interact with his or her teachers and administration is necessary.

Custody Concerns of Raising Grandchildren with Disabilities

If a grandparent is parenting a child who is disabled, gaining custody is highly recommended. This is because there is very little outside assistance available to anyone who is not the legal guardian. When acting as primary caregiver, it is a top priority to put the grandchild’s interests first.

Financial Issues for Grandparents Raising Disabled Grandchildren

One of the most stressful issues for grandparents raising disabled grandchildren is the financial burden. Since this type of living situation is rarely foreseen, there is usually no financial plan in place. Aside from dipping into retirement funds, there are few options available for accessing necessary funds.

A Nightly Routine Makes For a Happy Morning

Morning tasks may be frustrating, time consuming, and even annoying for a disabled child. Helping a child accomplish these responsibilities ahead of time makes him or her feel as if all the hard work is completed. This can lead to a greater sense of excitement about the next day’s events.

– Clothes and Accessories for Disabled Children

When it comes to clothing and household accessories, there are probably some special items that cannot be found at local stores. These items can make a huge difference in a disabled child’s comfort, mobility, safety, and overall well-being.  In a two part blog, Disability Living provides a broad range of information about where to find these essentials.

If this week’s theme speaks to your home life, read along and contribute to the conversation. There is not a lot of information available for those raising grandchildren with disabilities. Regardless, parenting grandparents are not alone. By sharing your story, we can raise awareness of the struggles and joys that exist for those serving as primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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