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