Try to make use of all your support networks. Don't forget that it is OK to ask for help

Having a disabled child affects all members of a family. Mothers and fathers can sometimes react in different ways to the news that their child has a disability or medical condition. Many parents describe feelings of isolation; struggling to come to terms with the news; a lack of time for themselves and each other; problems balancing work and caring; increased financial worries; a lack of support and understanding from professionals and the wider family network; having to learn all about how the NHS works as well as worrying about your child.

It is really important that you talk to someone about the diagnosis. Try to make use of all your support networks – it might be your husband/wife or partner, relative, friend or neighbour. It might be helpful to try and just get some time to yourself or to spend some time alone with your partner.

Sometimes there is a key professional who can open the door to lots of information or contacts. This could be a health visitor, occupational therapist or person working for a voluntary organisation. Ask your GP, health visitor or social worker for more information or Contact Us.

After the initial diagnosis you may have loads of new questions for your consultant. It may be helpful to make a list of the questions you have for your next consultation.

You might find a professional counselling service a helpful way of unloading some of your thoughts and feelings. Your GP should be able to tell you about any local services.

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