Extra support for your child

If your child is disabled, there is support available to you and your child from health professionals and organisations. Health trusts, education authorities and social services provide a support network to young children with disabilities.

Health trusts, education authorities and social services

The support network can include doctors, social workers, health visitors, teachers and specialists such as speech therapists and physiotherapists. Your local Health and Social Care Trust and the Education Authority can tell you about the services on offer and support options for you and your child.

Sure Start

Sure Start is a government initiative for all children, parents and communities, bringing together free early education and better childcare. 

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

Parent support groups

At parent support groups,  you can meet other families who have young children with disabilities. Parents who are going through the same experiences as you, can give practical advice and emotional support. 

Charities and voluntary organisations are a good place to ask about support groups in your area.

Carer support groups

Your local trust may be able to tell you about support groups for carers in your area.

Support for children with special educational needs

Specialised support is available through schools, pre-schools and the Education Authority in your region for children with special educational needs - or children who need extra support to help them learn.

If your child can't go to school

When your child can't go to school because of their medical condition or health problems, the Education Authority is responsible for enabling your child to continue their education, as their condition allows. For example, your child could get school lessons while in hospital.

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