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Caring for a loved one with a disability can be challenging. While each person has different needs, caregivers generally need assistance or risk becoming burned out. If you will soon be responsible for a person with disabilities, know that you can turn to the following resources.

Government Programs

People with disabilities have rights just like all other citizens, and these rights are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If someone treats your loved one poorly, you can appeal the case to the federal government. Additionally, your state’s Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) offers training, resources and professional support. You may wonder how to become a DDD provider in New Jersey, but rest assured that these professionals are well prepared to help you and your loved one navigate difficult situations.

Local Schools

Schools are crucial because they offer education not only in academic subjects but also in social behavior. They provide opportunities for students to interact with their peers, and they employ support staff such as counselors and nurses who can help your loved one. Public schools are controlled by their state’s government, and they usually have more funding than private schools. As a result, they are better equipped to meet the needs of students with disabilities. If your loved one is school-age, research which school is the best option for him or her. Keep in mind commute time, cost of attendance and extracurricular activities as you do so. Before registering your student, you should speak with the principal and make sure that the school is equipped to meet your loved one’s needs.

If you are the caregiver for a person with disabilities, you should understand the different programs and laws in place that ensure that he or she is treated properly. Make sure to take care of yourself as well so that you can be the best guardian possible.