Caring for a child with disability is rewarding but it can also be demanding. Your own health and wellbeing are important and there are many forms of emotional, social, physical and financial support you can access.
A First Steps guide for parents raising a child with a recent, or yet to be confirmed, diagnosis of disability, developmental delay, autism, genetic, or chronic condition.
Looking after you
Practising good self care is an important ‘discipline’ for maintaining your own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Support for siblings
Parents often worry about the wellbeing of other children in the family but with good support, siblings can develop resilience and positive coping skills.
Who pays for what?
There are many and varied sources of financial support available to assist parents and carers with the costs associated with your child’s diagnosis.
Are you aware of the range of payments, allowances, supplements, subsidies and various concession cards available to parents and carers?
Low-cost mental health and counselling support
Caring for a child with a developmental delay or disability can be hard so it’s important to be mindful of your own mental health and wellbeing.
Learning to be your child's best advocate
There are likely to be times when you will feel the need to step in and advocate for your child. The following tips may help to guide the process and keep you focused.
Emergency Care Plan
Vital information about the support needs of your child in one place so that another person can take over from you in the event of an emergency.
There's no such thing as a silly question
A practical guide for families living with a child with a serious or chronic illness, disability or mental illness.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get a Companion Card?
The Companion Card Program supports Western Australians with disability who require support to attend community venues and events.
To start, you will need to download the application form and fill out your child’s personal details in Section 1. You will then need your child’s medical practitioner or service provider to complete Section 2.
Along with the form, you must submit two identical high-quality colour passport-sized photographs of your child. Send these to email@example.com.
I am feeling lost after receiving my son's diagnosis. What support is available?
Once you have a diagnosis, you are likely to feel a range of emotions, all of which will take time to process. At the same time, there are many things to learn such as how the health system works, assessing your child’s eligibility for funding, working out who to talk to and where to find information.
Kiind Peer Navigators can help you find information specific to your child’s diagnosis, identify funding entitlements, access mainstream and community supports and find suitable aids and equipment. Book a Kiind Pathway Planning session here.
It may also help to connect with other parents and carers who are on a similar journey. Join the Kiind Families Facebook Network or sign up to be matched with a Kiind Parent Coach.
Where can I get low-cost counselling support?
The Carer Gateway Counselling Service is a free service for carers. Professional counsellors are available Monday to Friday to talk through your concerns and how you feel about your caring role.
To use this service, visit the Carer Gateway website and request a call back. Kiind Peer Navigators can also point you in the direction of other counselling services. Alternatively take a look at ‘Counselling and mental health services’ in the Useful Organisations directory.