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The secret world of disability support services

Posted in Learning disability, Personal, Support services by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on October 3, 2008

Today we had our first visit from our specialist health visitor and key worker from the Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN). They’ll be working alongside our regular health visitor to ensure that any additional needs of our little boy and our family are met.

Both my wife and I were blown away by the level of information and support that is available to us. ESCAN is a joint initiative between Ealing Primary Care Trust, and Ealing Council. In great piece of common sense the service brings together all the health, education and social workers that provide services to children with disabilities in the borough of Ealing in a single building.

ESCAN is therefore home to the child development team that will provide the additional care our child needs, and we were provided with a road map of how and when services such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and portage will be available to us.

They also pointed us towards EalingHelp, an online resource for parents of children with disabilities funded by ESCAN and Ealing Mencap.

We were also given plenty of information on PESTS (Parents of Ealing Self-help Training Scheme), which is a term time support group for families with children aged 0–5 years with disabilities and special needs that provides play/activity sessions for children that will be available to both our boys as well as social activities and access to information and training sessions.

As well as all that we are also provided with an Early Support “family pack”, which is apparently provided to every family in the country with a child with additional needs.

It includes a 90-page information booklet for parents about Down’s syndrome, as well as smaller booklets covering support staff, childcare, financial help, education, health services, social services, education assessments, and useful contacts. There is even a booklet provide information on the other booklets.

It also includes a family file for us to fill in and hand to care staff we meet, so that we don’t have to keep repeating ourselves all the time.

That all probably sounds like information overload, but it’s not. The way it was presented is that it’s there if and when we need it, and it’s comforting to know that we have all the information we could need at our fingertips and a key worker on the end of the phone if we have extra questions or feel the need to vent at someone.

Kudos to those involved in ESCAN, EalingHelp, PESTS and Early Support. A whole new world of support and services and fun things to do has opened up to us. Its like we’ve been given the key to a secret world.

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3 Responses

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  1. […] entering the network of Down’s syndrome-related care and service providers, and as I’ve previously noted there was a lot more information to […]

  2. […] born has been fantastic and there are a great many services available to us, but they remained a secret until after he was […]

  3. […] have previously mentioned that we were luck enough to receive a huge amount of incredibly useful and supportive information […]


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