This website contains interview information related to children with disabilities that will provide not only specific strategies, but more importantly give you a better personal “sense” about these children, especially if you have limited experiences in working with them.

Points to Remember

  1. Work with someone to validate “impressions” or feelings about a case involving an individual with special needs, especially if you have limited experience with this population of children. In these instances “ two heads” are usually better than one, and can assist in limiting frustration, and remaining on target regarding the alleged abuse.
  2. Link-up with resources immediately, especially related to a specific disability. Oftentimes, that in itself can assist in clarifying impressions of functioning or information given. Professionals often delay asking for help. That is a mistake!
  3. If possible, develop a “multi-disciplinary resource team” in your location that includes all professionals that are knowledgeable about disability related issues. Include a community professional (e.g. teacher, psychologist) who could also be called upon to assist.  There is “no magic” in interviewing these individuals.   The diversity of their disabilities prevents any ONE STRATEGY from being successful. Experience in working with such individuals will enhance the comfort level and skills of all who interact with this group of children.
  4. Be constantly aware of the “Vulnerabilities to Consider”  that have been outlined in Questions to Ask Yourself. For example, the level of information and awareness that these individuals have regarding their own sexuality and the issues of self-protection may be very different than their “able bodied” or typical peers. Educational practices regarding these issues are changing in the various communities related to the training in sexuality and protection. But in many ways, individuals with disabilities are not always included in those educational experiences. This fact and additional vulnerabilities discussed continue, even today, puts them at a greater risk for abuse.
  5. Always remember, you may be the first person who can help stop the victimization for an individual with a disability. Don’t give up! Your patience, time and sensitivity in working with this group of individuals are critical and can make the difference!


Children with disabilities are children FIRST.
The skills and instincts you use in general interviewing
continue to hold true with these children.