Questions to Consider

photo of a baby with a disability finger painting outsideCharting the Life Course is a tool, developed by the Supporting Families Community of Practice and the University of Missouri Kansas City, to assist you in creating a vision for the future. It is designed to help families think about the questions to ask as you “plot a course” to a full and meaningful life for a family member with a disability.  Individuals and families can focus on their current stage of life, but families may also find it useful to look towards the future to start thinking about what they can do or learn now that will help build an inclusive, productive life.

The Supporting Families Community of Practice believes that this "life course approach" helps families realize that even when children are young and as he or she  grows into adulthood, their experiences and environment can shape how they will live their life in the future.

Here's just a few questions that the "Life Course approach" encourages families to consider, if they have a child with a disability in the prenatal or infancy stage.

  1. Do you have a vision or plan in mind for me when I get older that will support my growth and development now?
  2. Are there ways you can structure where I live and other surroundings to give me opportunities to do typical activities that young children do?
  3. If I need testing or assessment, will insurance pay for it, or are there other funding sources?
  4. Do you know how to connect with other parents?
  5. Are you telling loved ones or friends about your concerns for me and my health/development?

For a full list of questions families can consider for this stage of life, download the Charting the Life Course booklet and other "Life Course materials" at

The questions in Charting the Life Course are written to reflect a “first person” perspective across the lifespan to represent the viewpoint of the person with a disability and the on-going transformation to an adult who is self-determined, autonomous and independent.