Children of Parents
Mari Griffiths lrvin (emeritus)
University of the Pacific
The passage of Public Law 9442, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act, in the mid 1970s brought increased attention not only to the needs of children with disabilities but to the needs of their parents and sib lings as well. Since the 1970s discussions of the various needs of members of the “family with disability” have increasingly been found at professional conferences and in the literature. School personnel now often take the lead in providing intervections designed to attend to the specific needs of children adversely affected by a particular disability in the family.
The needs of many such children remain more hidden, however, as the disability within the family is less visible to school personnel. These children, the children of parents with disabilities, are not a homogeneous group as the disabilities incurred by their parents and their family situations are varied. But in each instance the child lives a life in relationship to a parent or parents who have incurred significant impairment or disability. Who among these children needs supportive intervention?
The purpose of this chapter is to (a) help the school pupil personnel services practitioner develop an awareness of this particular population of children; (b) provide preliminary information about the critical variables that must be considered in the determination of the needs of these children; and (c) suggest ways in which the school pupil personnel services staff might better serve these children and their parents.