It is estimated that up to eighty-five percent of parents of special needs children are divorced. The numbers are staggering.

“By the time the child is in high school, the majority of parents of special needs children are divorced,” explained Rose*, an expert in the field of teaching special needs children. “Especially if the child has Down Syndrome or is seriously medically fragile. Those parents are almost all divorced, due to the stress that it places on their relationship.”

In order to help the child, Sally said that since they are in school the majority of the time, it is best to be in constant contact with the school and its special needs personnel.

There are more tips on how coParents of special needs children can work together to understand the individual needs of their child:

Here are a few tips, as advised by Rose:

  1.  Seek support from the community, which includes specific parenting classes for those parenting special needs children.
  2. Befriend the child’s special needs’ teachers at school, to learn more about the child and their ever-changing stages.
  3. Aim at putting the child first at all times. Focus on what’s best for all aspects of the child’s life, especially when making decisions about scheduling and school.
  4. The goal is to help the special needs child attain confidence and independence. Working together as coParents keeping this goal in mind is key.

Rose stated that through her 15 years of working with special needs children, the top problem she encounters with coParents is watching them fight over scheduling and school issues. She advises for all coParents to always put the child first, in order to decrease disagreements.

* Name has been changed, as requested by the special needs teacher