Early Childhood

Questions to Consider

young girl with a disability reading a book on a woman's lap

Charting 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 early childhood stage.

  1. Are you keeping a vision in mind for my future as I learn and grow?
  2. Are you helping me be included with other children in social activities, play dates, and parties?
  3. Are you giving me opportunities to make choices (between two or three options)?
  4. Are you taking me to new places and helping me try new things so I can figure out what I like to do?
  5. What do you do for yourself and my siblings to help balance my needs?

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 http://www.lifecoursetools.com/.

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.