Having a disabled child can have a huge impact on family life. Without information families find it difficult to get the support they need to take part in normal daily activities. As a result they can become very isolated, and this can affect the wellbeing of the whole family.
There is a wide range of support available for families provided they have the information they need to find it.
Why families might have problems finding information
- they don't know it exists, so don't know to look for it or where to look for it
- the professionals working with them assume someone else is giving them the information
- they're overwhelmed by masses of information, much of which is not relevant to them, making it harder to find the information they need
- the information they need changes as the child grows older, their condition deteriorates or family circumstances change.
The information families need is varied and includes:
- childcare and employment
- education and transition
- social care and health services
- finance and benefits
- medical information
- support groups.
How you can help families find information
- make sure families know they can come to you for information
- help families find the information they need and tell them about other support they might not be aware of
- don't assume that families have information already and be proactive in providing it
- invite other people, such as disability advice organisations, to give information and advice at your workplace
- ask partner organisations working with disabled children to tell families how you can help
- make sure your information is easy to read, up-to-date and as best as possible delivered face-to-face and tailored to family needs.
How Contact can help
We have lots of information and resources that you can share with families or direct them towards.
Our parent advisers run workshops on topics that affect families with disabled children, including behaviour that challenges, sleep, bullying and transition. Find out if we're running a session where you live by visiting our in your area section.
Our parent guides are free to download or to order in print from our helpline. The following guides might be helpful to parents looking for information:
- Services and support from your local authority - England [PDF] - includes information about short break services
- Money matters - a checklist when your child has additional needs [PDF] - an introduction to the financial help families might be entitled to.
For more parent guides on topics such as aids and adaptations, holidays and leisure and understanding your child's behaviour, see our full publications list [PDF].
We have lots of advice and information on our website that you might want to share with parents, including: