Families that have a child with a disability often have one caregiver that is forced to scale back their participation in the work force.
It was reported recently in an article by Shaun Heasley of Disability Scoop that researchers have found that a significant number of caregivers of children with special needs reduce their work hours or leave jobs altogether. This costs their families an average of $18,000 per year in lost earnings.
The findings come from a study published recently in the journal Pediatrics that is based on an analysis of data from the federal government’s 2016-2017 National Survey of Children’s Health.
The study discovered that nearly 15% of families with children who have chronic health conditions including autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy have scaled back their participation in the workforce. That figure jumps to more than 40% in families of children with an intellectual disability.
I know this to be true because it is exactly what happened to our family. When my oldest son was small, we had so many medical appointments, therapies, and school meetings that I decided to become a stay-at-home Mom to ensure he got the care and resources that he needed. Fortunately, we were able to live on one salary, but the decision did not come without sacrifices and trade-offs.
In 2013, our family purchased the FATWHEELS brand and we embarked on this amazing journey. The fact that we could supplement our income while also helping other families whose lives have been touched by disability, was a double blessing.
In the past 8 years, this business has really become a family affair. Both of our sons help my husband and I in the warehouse and with any other jobs that need to be done. Today, as I write this blog post, my youngest son is in the other part of the FATWHEELS building painting our supply room😊
We have found a way to make lemonade out of lemons and I know that there are many of you out there that have too. I would love it if you would share with me some of the things that you have done to make up some of that lost income.
And, if you have been able to work outside of the home, tell me how you are doing it!
Who helps you in your caregiving duties? Who are your Tribe? What are your workarounds and secrets?
Did your work status change during the Pandemic?
I hope you take the time to share with me – I would love to have some company on this beautiful ride.
Until next time,