School Age

Questions to Consider

photo of young boy with disability painting in art class with a teacher

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 they grow 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 school age stage.

  1. Do you ask me what I want to be when I grow up?
  2. Do you make sure I have responsibilities at home (like other family members) such as daily chores?
  3. Are you giving me the opportunity to make choices and decisions about everyday things (like what I wear, what I eat for a snack)?
  4. Are you encouraging me to try different activities so I can figure out what I like to do in my free time?
  5. Are there opportunities or strategies at my school to help me make friends?

For a full list of questions families can consider for this stage of life, download the Charting the Lifecourse booklet and other tools 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.