How to find help if your child has special needs

Being the parent of a child with special needs can be a lonely experience: watching other mums going to toddler groups and fretting about additives in the biscuits can seem like a strange other-world compared to the daily realities you're facing.

The most important source of support at this time of your life is probably going to be other parents who are in the same boat as you, whether that's via Mumsnet or face to face.

Some parents may have been on this road for quite some time, and will be happy to share their tips and experiences. Others might just totally get where you're coming from and provide invaluable empathy and understanding.

Your health visitor or GP are a good place to start asking for information about special needs support. There are also general, umbrella groups that provide support and information to families with children with special needs  the main organisation recommended by Mumsnetters is Contact a Family. Our special needs webguide has lots of other useful links.

Here on Mumsnet we've got lots of information on the sources of practical help:


And, of course, Mumsnet is brimming with other parents in the same boat in our special needs Talk forums:


Last updated: about 3 years ago