Developing ICT skills and networks of support.
Short breaks and respite
Short breaks are designed for people with a learning disability and their families, to give them a change from their daily routine and to give parents and carers a break from the demands of their role.
Short breaks are incredibly important - caring, even for someone you love, can be an exhausting experience, which can leave you little time for yourself or other members of your family.
A good short break should be regular, reliable and frequent. It should also be flexible enough to fit in with your family's needs, and accessible in case of an emergency. To find out if you are entitled to a short break, you should contact your local authority, or ask during your carer's assessment or your child's community care assessment.
My son receives breaks, which allows him to stay in a family environment, and gives me a chance to rest and not be tied to our usual routine.
If you have not received a short break, and feel like you can no longer cope, it is important to get help as quickly as possible - you can start by speaking to your GP, and any other professionals that have been working with you and your child.
You can also contact a confidential counselling service such as Careline or the Samaritans. Careline are available on 0845 122 8622 and the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 0845 790 9090.
In an ideal world, families with a severely disabled family member would be able to enjoy natural breaks to benefit both the disabled person and the carer.
Many families with a severely disabled son or daughter struggle to get any kind of a break from full time caring.
If you have not received a short break, and feel like you can no longer cope, it is important to get help as quickly as possible - the most important thing is to tell someone how you feel.