Extra support for your child
A lot of support is available to you and your child, provided by organisations and trained professionals. A network of services for young children with disabilities is provided by health trusts, education authorities and social services.
Types of support
People in this network can include doctors, social workers, health visitors, specialists such as speech therapists and physiotherapists, teachers and support staff. Your local Health and Social Care Trust and Education and Library Board will be able to tell you about the services on offer and the best range of options for you and your child.
Sure Start is a government initiative for all children, parents and communities and brings together free early education and better childcare. The project has particular commitments to children with disabilities. Professionals will work with you to:
- define the nature of your child's needs and the impact on your family
- look at the support needed and agree the type of the equipment, medical care, therapy, information and practical advice you may need
- agree how, where and when support will be provided to you
- Sure Start Services (parents section)
Parent support groups
Parent support groups can give you the opportunity to meet with other families with young children with disabilities. They can offer practical advice, as well as emotional support, from parents who are going through the same experiences as you. Charities and voluntary organisations are a good place to start to find support groups in your area.
Carer support groups
Your local trust may be able to tell you about support groups for carers in your local area.
Support for children with special educational needs
Specialised support is available through schools, pre-schools and Education and Library Boards for children with special educational needs - or children who need extra support to help them learn.
- Special educational needs - school (parents section)
- Special educational needs - under fives (parents section)
If your child can't attend school for medical reasons
If your child can't go to school because of their medical needs or health problems, your Education and Library Board has a responsibility to enable them to continue their education, as their condition allows. This could be achieved by lessons in hospital, for example.