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Telling other people

After receiving a diagnosis, it's up to you how you explain your child's learning disability to other people.

Telling other people

After receiving a diagnosis, at times you may have to explain your child's learning disability to other people. This can be daunting, and every family has their own way of dealing with it. Some parents are very forthcoming, while others want to keep the disability to themselves.

There is no right or wrong way to tell others about your child. It is a personal choice, and no one should push you into talking about it before you are ready. You may feel that you need some time to digest the news before telling others.

Some parents prefer to say that their child has a disability and don’t go into detail, while others specify the disability and explain what this means. It may be that you only choose to go into detail once you have had time to get to know your child and to research their disability for yourself.

Family, friends, neighbours, colleagues

Having a child with a learning disability has an impact on the whole family, and other relatives may also need support to deal with their feelings. Friends and relatives will have different levels of understanding of learning disability, and some may be unsure how to react.

Coping with unsympathetic relatives can be a stressful experience, but helping them to access information and support can allow them to come to terms with the situation in their own time.

There are also other people you may want to tell, such as neighbours, other parents at school if your child attends a mainstream school, and colleagues. Remember that in most cases those you tell will be supportive and any worry will be short-lived.

Get in touch, we're here for you

The Learning Disability Helpline is our free help and advice line.

Our team can offer advice, information and discuss what support Mencap can offer tailored to your needs, in your area.

Call or email us

How to get the support you need

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at our online community ? This is a place for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability to share experiences, advice and support.

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