If your child has a disability

You may find out that your child has a health condition or impairment at a scan during your pregnancy, at the birth itself, or you may notice something in your child’s behaviour early on.

If your child’s condition is found at a pregnancy scan

If the sonographer (the professional doing the scan) finds anything unusual, they should refer you to a doctor within 24 hours and, if it's necessary, to a specialist within 72 hours.

The doctor or specialist will be able to tell you more about the condition and possible treatments.

If your child’s condition is found at birth

The paediatrician (the doctor specialising in care for children) at the hospital will be able to tell you about your child’s condition and possible treatment. If it’s a rare condition, the paediatrician may refer you to a specialist.

The paediatrician will be able to answer most of your questions and will also write a report and send it to your doctor (GP). You should be given contact details of someone who can answer any questions that you have after your first discussion with the paediatrician.

This could be a meeting with another doctor or specialist at the hospital, your local doctor or a health visitor. A follow-up meeting should also be arranged.

When your child's condition is found

You should always be given:

  • written information on your child’s condition
  • information about services available to you
  • practical and emotional support - for example, how to feed your baby if you have difficulty and the opportunity to talk about your feelings

You can also ask for a second opinion if you wish.


When your child’s condition is diagnosed, an assessment will be offered.

This could lead to extra support, financial help and more.

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