Support for all the family is important when a child has additional support needs. Meeting everyone’s needs can be stressful. These links can help you find the support you need for everyone to be healthy and happy.
For general practical and emotional support with your role and rights as carers, contact Carers of West Lothian for advice and a ‘listening ear’
The Social Work Child Disability Service (CDS) can assess the need for respite for children with significant or complex disability. Their contact details can be found on the West Lothian Council website:
There is often a wait for an assessment. You may want to consider other forms of respite, such as teaming up with another family for play visits, taking turn about to take children out to give the other parent a break, or asking relatives or friends to help out. They may need some support to feel confident about managing your child alone.
The UK’s national charity for working parents and carers
Lots of information about work/life balance and rights for parents of children with a disability:
Childcare and Afterschool/ Wraparound Care
When your child is small, their needs will usually not be too different from others, so it is helpful to approach childminders positively, without focusing on the ‘additional’ needs.
Help them get to know your child – many will be able to adapt. The Scottish Childminding Association has a search function to help you identify childminders in your area.
Unfortunately, after-school clubs can be more difficult to find if your child has additional needs. If your child needs more help than others, more staff might be needed.
This can be a reason for private clubs refusing to take your child. However, you could explore whether the refusal is based on an accurate assessment of your child’s needs, or simply an assumption – which might amount to discrimination.
If the local council runs the breakfast or after-school club, it should make it open to all children. Ask how any refusal fits with the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) principles that councils should abide by, and whether the refusal is disability discrimination.
Locally, SimplyPlay are the best contact for after-school clubs and holiday clubs in West Lothian: