Greetings! Welcome to Parents with Disabilities Online! We’ve been providing information, support and resources to parents with disabilities since 1996, when our own daughter was first born. She’s growing up, and so is this site! We’re undergoing a major transition at the moment that we hope will make the site easier to navigate and maintain. Please be patient while we rebuild the site.
For too long, people with disabilities had been told that having families of our own was not an option. The truth is, though, that we have always been parents, and as our society evolves, more and more of us will have access to that opportunity. If you are a parent with a disability, a person with a disability who is planning to become a parent, or a nondisabled partner of a disabled parent, this site is for you. We hope that this page is a good place to start on your own journey toward independent parenting.
Did You Know…
…that in the United States alone, more than 8 million families include at least one parent that has a disability? Millions more exist worldwide, and our numbers are steadily increasing.
We believe that the best source of knowledge on parenting is parents themselves. The same holds true for parents with disabilities, and our primary goal is to give parents an opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other. Much of the information on this site comes straight from the source–the parents with disabilities who are living their lives and successfully raising their children. Please do stop by often, as we are constantly adding information as we become aware of the resources that are available.
Take a look around–there’s lots of stuff to explore and new ideas to consider! This page is continually growing, and we always welcome new resources and suggestions! Feel free to read and learn, or to contribute your stories… and don’t forget to leave us your feedback on the way out!!
Let your journey begin…
23 thoughts on “Let Your Parenting Journey Begin…”
I thought some of your members might enjoy this beautiful flashmob of 400 people with and without disabilities:
YouTube Project Coordinator
City of Port Phillip
Private Bag No 3
PO St Kilda VIC 3182
i need advise, i am 100% disabled with spine injury and adopted 3 specail needs children. should i just file as dependents or should i claim them email@example.com please send information. Thank you I need information and relciable info ASAP.
my name is janine colon i have cerebral palsy with a seizure disorder. Recently in 2010 I became pregnant and had seizures all through my prengnancy so much so that I had my son prematurely at seven months I was exactly thirty weeks pregnancy.At that time I was in living in nyc however due to finding no assistance with him I had to move to MA with my sister who at that time thought she could handle this. NYC said that in order for me to parent my child i would need 24 hr assistance because of nyc being a city with a long waiting list they could not find any help so this made me have to move back to massachusetts where my sister resides she thought that I would receive assistance with my son however that was not possible i am considered a high functioned disabled adult i am blessed to have been abled to have a large measure of independence yet my health has recently been my curse for the first time ever.Because of their being no resources here in ma my sister couldnt handle this for two reasons one i was defensive reminding her that she is his aunt that i would not allow her or anyone to replace me as his mother it was in my opinion disrespectful to me. Then to she was not the primary care taker she was his aunt not to be confused with being his mother as well as there was no sizeable income since she would have had to alter her lifesyle.Meaning she is single foot lose and fancy free not really ready to settle down to parenthood as of yet. Since that happened DCf became involve in my life.DCF took temp costody of him with me being allowed to keep my legal rights. He was taken from me nov 12,2010 due to a a 51A filed that stated that my son was in danger since there was no proper assistance for me.My son is developmentally delayed as was explained to me during the first stages of his life he does have early intervention,pysical therapy ,occupational therapy,speech therapy as well as being evaluated for sensory integration. He has had mri,cts as well as an eeg to evaluate his brain making sure that he is going to be seizure free and also to see if there are going to be any current or future issues regarding his development that said It is the opinion of DCf that due to all of his medical needs I am unable to sucessfully parent my son. Even healthly Adults with no limitations fight for their rights. America was built on this. There are programs for Emotionally Disabled thease protect them as they should. They are abled to recieve the maxium pca hours so that all there (ADLS) or activities of daily are met.This program is for there benefit.While in Presbyterian Hosptal I had a Siezure Aura and drop my son through no fault of my own. He was given and mri as well as a ct scan and an eeg . His test revealved that he sustained a left temporal cortical contusion and a thin layer of subdoral hematoma without mass effect. His EEG showed no seizure activity which was my concern as well as his doctors due to my history with seizures. I am well aware of my son’s health and well being I am not indenial regarding this yet not everyone who has a pysical disabilty is unable to take of there child effectively.As most Americans are aware we are currently in a financial hole and have been for while that is nothing new, however that being the case funding for assistance for High Functioning Adults are slim to none. Yes it is blessing to be a High Functioning as a Disabled Adult. Being as self sufficient as possible is considered gold to a Disabled Adult. .I ask you what happens when there is a high function Disabled Adult who has a family of there own and could use assistance are we saying that there is nothing to help both the parent and child. What if there is no family or friend network does DCF have the legal right to to step in and teminate parental rights. Which brings the matter of DCF working with Abusive,Neglectful,Drug Addicted parents as well as Children who due to no fault of their own are victims of witnessing domestic violence are worked with over and over again. The child is placed from foster home to foster home while the parent completes rehab over and over again. I ask you is having a standard text book case where the child is bounced around with all kind of emotional issues effective parenting? where the child never really finds a stable home with there biological parent because all trust is lost.How fair is this to the child who is going or has been in a ongoing DCF case. Where and when does the child find emotional closure. Then there is a case like mine which is solely based on medical limitations only. DCF initially tried for reunification with my son with the goal of proper services being set up. However the service plan has since change with the goal being permanet adoption with terminating all legal parental rights.I am appalled how they want to terminate my rights base on my disability. It is my opinion that DCF has discrimated me by there opinion. They have acted like I am incapble of raising my son they have acted like I am unreasonable,or living in a dream world that is not based on being logical. From the start of my DCF case they told that there was nothing wrong with giving up my son for adoption that it was and act of love facing reality. If they were for so called reunification why would they have made that statement to me on nov 12,10 it is as if they knew exactly what there intentions were in the very beginning. I have spoken with The Head of DCF central office who mentioned a by name by The Federation organization which is a disability resource however this is a different kind of agency with limited knowledge please help me I NEED ALL THE SERVICES I CAN RECIEVE ! All I want is the opportunity to be a loving parent to my son. I have applied to a housing complex for disabled alduts with full security and onsight staff my doctor has provided a letter for DCF stating that a housing setup like this is sufficient enough for me to raise my son on my own please contact me at 774-365-0536 or thru my email firstname.lastname@example.org. I am complaining about the DCF office branch here in Massachusetts Currently I live about an hour away from my son so I DO NOT GET TO SEE HIM AS OFTEN like I should I do have open visitation with him yet there is no transportation getting there thru the transit authority I can’t afford it monthly. This alone is hurting my case. I am going to need assistance regarding this matter. My court date is coming up in next month I would appreciate it if I COULD HAVE YOU ADVOCATE FOR ME AS WELL AS ACCOMPANY ME TO COURT PLEASE YOU ARE MY LAST HOPE. I have since found out that the housing complex that I applied to is for disabled adults who are single they do not deal with familys. So my doctors have agreeded to write a letter stating such restrictive rules are not necessary for me to parent my son effectively.They have agreeded to testify on my behalf in court.
I would like to meet one of your many success stories that have overcome the many challenges being a disabled parent brings. As we all know our lives are full of many challenges however when our goals are met our lives are rewarding and our self confidence is built upas well as our self esteem is raised to the highest level possible.It should noted that disabled people have a wealth knowledge and constantly prove over and over that they can get thru any of the many hard challenges life brings. TAKE CARE AND CONTINUE TO PRESS FORWARD.
Very sorry you’re going through this.I am also going through sort of a similsr situation,I need advise on.Please help asap. Thank you.
That was an AWSOME video, it really brings out the advocasy and equality in people as people first
I commend you.. I have fibromyalgia, chiaris, and occipital neuralgia, so i live in chronic pain, and my husband has arthritis in his spine, so we are essentially ‘disabled’ but nto quite to the extent you are. i think you are doing the best thing you can do for you and your son, and that is, trying to keep the two of you together. at least if, god forbid, you are not able to keep him, at least he will know you faught to try.
I was truly inspired by this flashmob, it was perfectly created with a beautiful message of love for all people. I am not an individual with any disability but had discovered this website for my cousin who has muscular dystrophy. I will be sure to pass your message on. Thank you.
I am going to court on nov 10 and nov 17 i am very anxious please pray for me i want my son this is very wrong what is being done to me i will fight till i die but i will stand up for myself and fight any and all who are trying to take my son away due to lack of services for myself i see people with worse disabilities then myself and all hats are taken off they are role models worthy of example .i keep you all updated my e-mail is email@example.com
I’m an occupational therapist -student from Denmark working on my bachelor. My group are writing about children of disabled parents (using assistive devices) and how these children cope with this special lifesituation. Unfortunately there is not much litterature available here in Denmark about this issue.
Does any of you out there know of any research done in this area ? Do you know of any books, articles etc, that might be relevante to me ? If you do, I’d be very, very thanktful if you with post me a line here or in my email. Thank you so much.
Best regard from
I am anxious about this week nov 17 i will find out if i will get to keep my parental rights I feel court is on my side so i am praying that i get thru this so i can put this behind me . I was abled to get my doctors to back me up with me being able to live in regular housing with pca assistance and life line . So i am a bag of nerves.
I WILL KEEP IN TOUCH
i’m a 56 yr old disabled widow,mother and grandmother living in a small town in Mansfield,Ma
i have a 17 yr old daughter and a 5yr old grandson who i have legal guardianship of, recently i had to enroll my grandson in k1,as a result of a stroke,a heart condition and severe breathing issues i am wheelchair bound,over the years i have faced many trials due to my disability,bearing a woman of faith i always try to choose my battles however sometimes your battles are chosen for you,after enrolling my grandson in school with the support of my siblings i now had to face school bus transportation for him after assigning a bus # and route i had to find out where the bus stop was,the bus stop is 3 houses away from my driveway however i have a motorized wheelchair and my ramp was installed incorrectly so i cannot get my chair out of the house on my own i have a personal care attendant who goes with me every where , but she does not arrive until 9;00am the school bus arrives at 8;30am so i call the bus company and explain the situation and asked if the bus could stop at the top of my driveway which it has to pass to reach the bus stop that is in a circle ,this would allow me to sit in my chair and watch my grandson from my doorway after being told that the bus did not make house stops and that the other parents would give the company a lot of backlash if my request was granted i then asked if their were any other parents in a wheelchair i was told that i would get back too,shortly later i received a call from the transportation mgr of the company stating that she was doing me a favor by temporally granting my request and then starting questioning me as to when i was getting my ramp repaired as i told her do to my financial situation i was unsure although i did apply to our town hall social services for assistance getting my ramp repaired.so this morning after sitting in my doorway for a half hour the bus finally arrived as the bus was entering the circle pass the top of my driveway it stops,my house sits in the back but i could see the bus through the trees ,i send my grandson up the driveway as i watched him but then i couldn’t see him anymore a few min later my grand son comes back to the top of the driveway trying to tell me something but i can’t hear him so i motion for him to come closer,he says grandma,wheres the door to the bus,i tell him to ask the driver now i can hear her but i can’t see her she tells him to walk around to the other side of the bus which is facing a 40mil per hr zone ,again i can’t see him this is not a short school bus this is a full length bus so the nose is facing the entrance to the circle and the back is across my driveway so the bus continues into the circle, i then called the bus company and was again reminded by their transportation mgr that she was doing me a favor i asked if the bus would enter the circle from the second entrance so the the door would be facing my driveway and not the street and i could see my 5 year old 3ft tall grandson board the bus this woman made me feel like a piece of gum under the bottom of her shoe i apologized ,thanked her for her efforts,told her i was not trying to give her a hard time or seem unappreciative i just need some assistance to resolve this problem.so if their is any one out there who can advise me how to settle this HELP!
i read your story ,and i live in Massachusetts as well , i just don’t understand why it has to be so hard
all i can say to you as a parent and grand parent who is a highly functioning disabled human being who’s
not asking for special favors , but the same respect , afforded to any parent ,is have faith that even though life keeps throwing these unreasonable, unacceptable,situations at us, we survive these things because of God’s Grace,that people without physical disabilities have no idea the hurdles we have to overcome ,that
waking up every day is a struggle hard enough without insensitive workers who i always believed took a job in human services to help make life better for people but we know that’s not true! just remember,our bodies are on loan to us while here on earth and that our reward is in Heaven,my heart and my prayers go out to you,that you will overcome this yet another hurdle and be reunited with your son
hi i am due to be a parent in 6 months and do not have the use of my left arm due to cerebal palsy from birth, i am wondering if any one knows of aids to help me as i want to be as hands on as my partner will be, i have been looking but they are very limited any help would be appreciated
It’s be awhile since there was any mail from anybody. Just wanted to let my fellow Northern Californians know that at the Abilities Expo that starts tomorrow in downtown San Jose@ the convention center. I am going and Janette is coming up from So Cal. If anyone else from the list is coming it would be nice to know and meet up if we could.
Please post to the list
My name is Milagros but everyone calls me Nini., I’m 28 years old and I’m 7 seven months pregnant, I live with my fiance’ in an apartment. I have C.P, but it doesnt slow me down. I’m determined to be the best mommy I can be for my daughter. I’m going to name her, Jullaniesse. I get lots of help from my friends and family, they’re all very supportive of my pregnancy.For years my doctor told me I could never have a baby, but look at me now. I’m due in Febuary and I cant to meet my beautiful daughter. 🙂 My doctor recommended this website and it’s opening my eyes to being a disabled parent. It tells me how easy it is for a disabled parent to do everything that Non-disabled parents can do. I’m very excited for Febuary, because when that month rolls along, me and fiance’ are going to be a family <3
WHat happened to the page with all the equipment listed, specifically the crib?
Hi. I’m Mara. My husband is a polio survivor. I’m looking for a crib (to order, not build) that is easily accessible. I saw a few online that open towards you, like 2 doors. It seems like a lot of the disability websites for baby furniture are shut down. Any suggestions?
Interesting website and I hope you do well with it because it is a much needed resource to a community often under-serviced by the professionals. It was my 32 year old daughter that reminded me how unique her situation was, and that triggered my search today.
A bit of background for everyone – Karin was born with C7 Spina Bifida in August of 1957 in Oberhausen, Germany. She had surgery at 6 days old to protect the spinal cord that protruded outside her body, a tonsilectomy at age 8 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Hospital for Sick Children, a Harrington rod implanted at age 13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Hospital for Sick Children and a skin graft done at age 16 in Welland, Ontario, Canada to correct a pressure ulcer. She was permanently confined to a manual wheelchair, and when we met on a blind date in October, 1976, all 6’6″ of me fell head over heels for this 4’10” angel.
In September of 1978, we were married (in a Catholic Church) despite the reservations of my family, her family and the church. We were among the first group in Canada to take a mandatory marriage preparation course, which only added to our resolve to make our marriage work.
Shortly after we were married, we found out Karin was pregnant! Karin was in heaven, and in May of 1979 our darling daughter – all 7 pounds, 1 ounce – was born. A mere nine weeks later, we found out she was pregnant again (more concern this time) and in April of 1980, our son – a hefty 8 pounds, 5 ounces – was born. And if that wasn’t enough, Karin became pregnant with our third – another daughter – 7 pounds, 13 ounces – a whole lot more concern with pregnancy. There were no traces of any disability in our children – unless you consider lactose intolerance (from their father’s side) a disability.
Karin passed away this past January of squamous cell bladder cancer at the age of 54, having survived long enough to see all three of her children married to absolutely beautiful people, and celebrated the birth of two grandsons. It was Karin’s hope that she would be able to help disabled teenaged girls and women struggling with their fertility and sexuality – and maybe she still can.
The trigger that started this search – my oldest daughter mentioned that she and her siblings were the only children from a disabled parent that she ever met. And she also mentioned that Karin and I were active in the disabled community in Toronto as program directors and volunteers for different agencies in the City, so she grew up around a lot of disabled people.
So here is my shout out to the adult, natural born children of a parent who was disabled at the time of their birth. I believe these people have different issues than those adopted by a disabled parent, or a parent who became disabled sometime after their birth, because their parents were different. I’d love to connect with you here on this board to share experiences with me and my children as well.
If you are a disabled parent of a child and want help, please don’t hesitate to put the call out. I’m not sure I’ll be any help to you (because I’m not disabled myself) but I will try to share Karin’s wisdom with you. Maybe it’ll help and Karin’s legacy will live on.
May God bless everyone who participates on this site because we all know God doesn’t make junk.
My husband and I are expecting our first child and he is in a wheelchair. Can any of you recommend cribs that are w/c accessible?
i am still waiting to hear from the court regarding my parental rights recently i was told that my son has autism so i would like to know if there are services that would help both me and my son i live in massassachusetts please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 774-365-0536
I just came across your site after realising that Ableize, the U.K.’s largest disability resource was not covering disabled pregnancy and parenting issues of disabled, we are now working rectify this building are respectable resource of reliable sites such as yours and have indeed included you within that section.
The Ableize disabled pregnancy and parenting section can be seen at http://www.ableize.com/health-and-fitness/Pregnancy-and-Parenthood/ and I hope your inclusion in this helps drive traffic to your very informative and much sought after information site.
Keep up the good work.
hi my name is mariah and iam 20 and i am 32 weeks prego an i have mild cerbral palsy and am a single mom with no help from my family an now i have cps on my butt saying that they can take her cause they think that i cant take of her she is the only baby i can have what can i do i dont wanna lose her?
hey mariah i completely understand what you are going thru fight now as hard as you can cps teriminated my rights due to lack of of services and my health having cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder i am appealling this and suing the state of ma dcf