Just as disabled adults have rights then so do children. Every country will have a different policy regarding those rights under there social services department but usually only the name is different.
In the UK there is a policy in place which is called “The Children’s Act”. This policy was designed to keep children safe and well and help to give a disabled child a better lifestyle in the home by providing services to meet the needs of the child.
A child in need of help may be:
* Doesn’t have a reasonable standard of health.
* Unlikely to progress in terms of development due to poor health.
* Unlikely to progress without help being given from social services.
What can the act do to help me?
If you have a disabled child and you think that their standard of living could be improved with help from social security then you should contact your local social security office to set up an “assessment of needs”.
A social worker will then come to your home and talk over with you the needs of your child and also those of other family members. He/she will discuss with you what benefits your family could be entitled to and how social security can help. All factors of your child’s needs will be taken into account including health, social and educational needs.
What services can be provided for my child?
Children and their families who have been assessed may be entitled to a wide range of help and support which may include:
* Short breaks.
* Holiday play schemes.
* Care in the home.
* Aids and adaptations around the home.
* Financial support.
Depending on the level of care needed after the assessment you may be entitled to claim direct payments instead of receiving social care provided by social security. This is a payment on cash which will enable you to buy specific items to help and improve your child’s life at home.
Your child’s education rights
You are entitled to certain rights when it comes to your child’s education, some of which include:
* A child with special needs should get help at school if they have significantly more difficulty in learning than other children of the same age or if they have a disability that affects the way they can use educational facilities that are provided for children of the same age.
Your rights if your disabled child is being bullied at school
A recent survey has shown that one in three disabled children has been at some time or another bullied in school. Bullying is nothing new and it doesn’t only happen to disabled children but figures have shown that pupils with disabilities are more susceptible to name calling and often physical violence.
Almost half of the young disabled people have been bullied in school despite policies put in place regarding bullying.
What can be done?
Parents and children can form a good relationship with the school expressing any concerns that they may have regarding their child and talk over with the school what policy it has regarding bullying, discuss what actions the school takes over bullying and what the school actually regards as bullying.
Most if not all schools have a strategy in place regarding bullying, although the government does not advocate specific bullying strategies it does provide schools with well known strategies that schools do find helpful. In the end it is down to the particular school to develop their own winning strategy against bullying.
What is defined as bullying in school?
We all know children can be just children often cruel and thoughtless to the feelings of others more so in regards to children who are disabled, so when does simple name calling turn into bullying?, how is bullying defined? “Bullying exists when students are exposed repeatedly or over time to a negative action on the part of one or more students”.
The effects of bullying can be long term and can cause many added problems to your child’s day to day living, signs to watch out for that your child may be suffering at the hands of a bully are:
* Torn, damaged, missing clothing, books or other belongings.
* Unexplained cuts, bruises or scratches.
* Loses interest in school work or school work suffers.
* You child appears sad, moody, depressed or teary.
* Complains frequently of small illnesses such as headache and stomach ache.
If you suspect your child is being bullied in school then it is important that you contact the school as soon as possible regarding this matter, all schools are required by law to have a discipline policy when it comes to bullying and legally the school has to do everything it possibly can to prevent bullying from occurring.
Steps to take to stop bullying
* Get in touch with the school first preferably the head teacher or Principal.
* Talk with your child let them know this is unacceptable and help will be given.
* Discuss with the child’s teacher ways to help your child.
* Regularly check with your child and school to make sure any enforcements have been kept in regards to your child’s problem.
If all else fails then there are several other organisations which may be able to offer you help and advice against bullying, these are:
Child line – http://www.childline.org.uk/ Kidscape – http://www.kidscape.org.uk/
Covenant house nineline – http://www.covenanthouse.org/nineline
Kids help phone- http://www.kidshelp.sympatico.ca/
The safety line- http://www.linkabezpeci.cz/
0800 Kidsline – mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org