Care & jobs for a special needs child or adult

When it comes to special needs care, the options range from minimal assistance to full-time care.

Woman works independently on a desktop computer.

When your family includes a child or adult with special needs, you may worry about providing for their long-term care. There are many options available, each with their own costs and potential benefits. Here are some scenarios you may want to consider as you develop your plans.

Living at home

Many people with special needs live at home with family members where they receive care and companionship. This may require one parent or relative to leave their job to act as a full-time caregiver.

In-home aide

A person with special needs may benefit from a professional caregiver who can assist with basic tasks and help with attending school, medical appointments or social activities.

Adult day programs

Day programs for adults with disabilities are typically open during business hours and provide meals, activities and various levels of care for people with physical limitations or cognitive disabilities.

Group housing

There may be residential communities for adults with special needs in your area. These group homes — with provided services such as housekeeping, meals, laundry and transportation — give adults with special needs the opportunity to live independently from their families.

Residential facilities

A live-in facility that provides around-the-clock personal care, supervision, meals and activities is an option for people who need 24-hour care.


Not every adult with special needs can work, but for those who can, there are many jobs that can accommodate them. Work that can be performed from home — such as web development, graphic design and accounting — may be an option for those with physical disabilities. And for special needs adults that work with cognitive impairments, working in retail, food services or hospitality are just a few of many possibilities.

What works best for you and your loved one depends on your financial resources and the level of care they need. While residential options providing 24-hour supervision tend to be the most expensive, an adult with a permanent disability and without work options may qualify for government assistance that can subsidize those costs. And adults with special needs who can earn a paycheck may be able to combine that income with some other government assistance to cover many of their basic expenses. The key is to determine your needs and then work toward a plan that meets them.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Neither State Farm® nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.

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