Disability charity, Scope, has launched a petition for the government to introduce a minister specifically for disabled children and families.
The campaign comes after research done by the charity showed that 41 per cent of parents of disabled children aged from birth until five years old, weren’t offered any emotional support during and after their child’s diagnosis.
Due to the lack of additional guidance 25 per cent of parents said they became more isolated at this time.
One in four parents of disabled children became more isolated as a result of their child's diagnosis. They are being let down by a support system that doesn’t work. Now is the time. Be a #DisabilityGamechanger – visit our website and sign the petition ➡️ https://t.co/DYowiUTNsi pic.twitter.com/gBb9jmNbOp
— Scope (@scope) November 4, 2018
The charity argues that current ministers – for disabilities, and for children and families – are not addressing the specific issues faced by disabled children and their families, and as a result, many are not receiving the care and support they need.
Scope also found that 74 per cent of parents of disabled children had experienced negative comments by the public when out with their disabled child, and 42 per cent believe there is a lot of prejudice against disabled children.
An additional 55 per cent said that the experience of getting a diagnosis for their child was stressful.
All parents want the best for their children. But too often, the parents of disabled children are told what their child can’t do, and how difficult life will be.
— Scope (@scope) November 1, 2018
The ‘Now is the Time’ campaign hopes to encourage the government to appoint the minister, to provide children and families with disabilities with more support.
A new minister would focus solely on the issues faced by disabled children and families, providing charities, businesses, disabled people’s organisations and families with a direct point of contact for issues.
With only 25 per cent of adults believing that a parent of a disabled child can have the same aspirations for their child as the parent of a non-disabled child, it’s certainly time that attitudes are changed, to stop more children and their families from slipping through the cracks, and to ensure they get the support they deserve.
For more information, or to sign the petition, visit the Scope website, here.