If you have a child with disability or additional needs
Learn more about the resources and support services available if you have a child with disability or additional needs.
Disability and developmental delays
A disability can be present from birth or develop after birth, and includes:
- physical disability
- intellectual disability
- visual disability
- hearing disability.
A developmental delay is when a child is slower to develop than expected in their:
- communication skills.
A developmental delay can:
- be short term
- indicate a long-term problem.
Getting a diagnosis
A disability or developmental delay can take time to identify and diagnose.
Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you’re concerned about your child’s health or development.
Early diagnosis may prevent a condition becoming more serious, as your child can get the medical help and additional support they need.
It’s important to:
- take your child for their regular health checks, so that delays in their development or learning can be detected early
- keep track of your child’s development and help them learn key life skills
- talk to your local doctor or child and family health nurse if you have any concerns about your child
- get a second medical opinion if necessary.
As well as the usual parenting challenges, those who have a child with disability or additional needs will also want to consider:
- if they can get support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- what type of early childhood education and care will best suit their child's needs
- the financial and other types of support available.
Raising Children has information on:
- assessment and diagnosis of children with disability
- parenting a child with disability
- developmental delays.