What is an Additional Need?
You may be pregnant or have just had your baby and been told that your child is likely to have health and / or developmental issues.
You may be concerned that your child is not developing as you had expected and be worried about what this might mean for them.
Your child may have been recently diagnosed with a condition that will need extra support.
You may have known for some time that your child has additional needs.
Whatever your situation you may have a lot of different thoughts, feelings and worries.
Finding out or realising your child will need extra support is hard. You and others who love your child will have to adjust to what this means for you all.
The way you cope is individual and may not be the same as for other family members. This is normal. How you feel can change from day to day, maybe even minute to minute. Sometimes you might find it hard to look to the future.
There are no wrong feelings. You might feel angry, sad, lonely and confused or you might feel strong, determined, and protective – maybe all on the same day.
Be patient with yourself and others it takes time – even your difficult feelings do not take away from how much you love your child.
- Find friends and family that you can talk to easily.
- Understand that you and your partner may not both be feeling the same. You may find it hard to be there for each other sometimes. Agree to check in on how you are both feeling without judging.
- Make sure information you look at about any diagnosis is up to date and still relevant. Care and treatments are progressing all the time.
- Try not to look too far ahead. Mindfulness can help keep focus on what is happening now. There is NHS information on this *here*.
Even when feel you have been coping for a while there can be bumps in the road. These can cause the difficult feelings to flare up again.
Be kind to yourself ask for help when you are struggling and recognise you are doing your best in a difficult situation.
Your child may need to be referred to other services for assessment or may already be under the care of specialists and receiving support.
Each child is unique and their needs will vary. It can be hard to know what help is out there. There is so much information online it can be overwhelming.
- Get in touch with Norfolk Children & Young People’s Health Services to discuss your situation (See details below). They can help you plan the best next steps.
- Norfolk Community Directory may have details of local charities and services *here*.
- You may be entitled to financial support check at GOV.UK *here*.
If your child is at nursery or school talk to them about any concerns you may have, they can reassure you and / or help you find the right help.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) Health Questionnaire will help you to think about your knowledge, skills and confidence in understanding and supporting your baby or child’s health. The results of this can help us, to support you, in setting goals and priorities in a way that is right for you and your family. On completion of the questions you will be signposted to some self care resources which are tailored to your responses. This will help you to take steps to improve your family's health and wellbeing. *Click Here* to find out more.