Support for the disabled

14th April 1995 at 01:00
I was interested in Diane Hofkin's report (TES, March 31) "Siblings of disabled often feel isolated". I recently undertook a study with families where there was a child with special needs and certainly some of them experienced bullying and teasing.

I found that, after the parents, the siblings of the disabled child were the main relatives providing help, care and education. Only when the siblings were themselves too young or disabled were they not fulfilling the role of carer. They also provided considerable support for the parents. The "within family" support systems were most impressive.

Disability does not always come singly and I found situations in which an older disabled sibling was also providing help and support for the other disabled childchildren and family.

However Tom White of NCH Action for Children is absolutely right when he refers to "the lack of support services provided by government, health and local authorities which recognise the needs of all the family". The majority of the families I studied had to battle to obtain basic services. With the reduction in respite care and other services justice for siblings becomes critical. The NCH Action for Children deserves our support.

Linnea Glynne-Rule

Cornwall Education Centre

Church Road

Redruth, Cornwall

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today