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Children with disabilities: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help


Medical Background

Children can suffer from many different disabilities. With all disabilities, getting a diagnosis as early as possible cuts down on any delays in getting the appropriate treatment and help. Whilst some disabilities cannot be improved medically, it is often the case that early treatment prevents further problems, and ensures that your child continues to develop. However your child is affected, we may be able to provide some helpful information for you, so read on… (There is a list of useful addresses at the end.)

First port of call/Medical treatment

If you are worried about your child, speak to your health visitor or GP. They will then be able to direct you towards the help that you need. As there are so many different disabilities, there are many different treatments. The important thing is to follow the advice given, and go for regular check-ups if asked to.


Some local authorities hold registers of disabled children in their area. This means that they can keep you informed about relevant services, help groups etc in your area. Contact your local Social Services Department for details.

Useful organisations

British Deaf Association: Promoting the rights of Deaf people as a linguistic minority group, encouraging the use of British Sign language, providing services and advocacy.

Deaf-Blind UK: information for those with both conditions

Hearing Concern: A voluntary body, providing advice and support, and campaigning for the rights of deaf people.

Hearing Aid Council: regulates hearing aid dispensers

The Link Centre for Deafened People: Advice and rehabilitation

LOOK provides advice, help and support for families of children with visual problems.

The Partially Sighted Society: Provides information, advice, publications, aids, enlargement services and local support.

Royal National Institute for the Blind: Provides over 60 different services to help anyone with impaired vision, e.g. easy-to-read watches, information, holidays. Write to them for a free copy of Your Guide to RNIB Services.

Royal National Institute for the Deaf: provide a wide range of information and services, for those who are hard of hearing, deaf or deaf-blind, and also for employers and families.

SENSE: Advice and information for those who are deaf and blind.

Benefits and Allowances

There are many benefits and price reductions which you and your child may be eligible for. Some benefits require you to be registered; others are only available to families on low incomes. You may be eligible for some of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Invalid Care Allowance (for carers)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Additional Income Support

Contact your local benefits agency or local neighbourhood office for details.

The Disability Alliance produces The Disability Rights Handbook - a comprehensive guide to benefits for disabled people. Cost: £12 (£8 to those on benefits).

The Family Fund is administered by the Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trust on behalf of the Government. It makes financial grants to families caring for children up to 16 years of age, who have special needs or severe handicap. The grants are intended to provide equipment or services related to day-to-day care, e.g. washing machines and holidays.

The fund looks at each family situation individually and is pleased to consider a wide variety of requests for items or services, if these can be seen to assist family circumstances. If in doubt, it is always worth applying.

Employment and Training

Contact the Disability Employment Adviser at your local Job Centre for advice on emp