Transition is a process and it can take 10 years or more for things to fall into place. The kind of support you want might change but it’s important to know where to look for help when you need it.
Parent support groups
Other parents are a great source of information and support. Whether it’s pointing you in the right direction, recommending services or just offering a listening ear, parents can be the most likely to understand the anxieties, joys and frustrations of supporting a disabled young person.
There are parent groups across Scotland, some for specific conditions, others for all disabilities. You can find a list of them here and they can be one of the best sources of up-to-date local information. If it’s difficult to get to meetings, many use social media to keep members informed.
Many organisations across Scotland run social groups, training courses and local support networks for carers of all ages and backgrounds. They can give you free advice or a listening ear, point you in the direction of other services that can help, and sometimes link you with local services such as solicitors or financial advice.
Click here to find a carers’ group near you.
Online communities and chatrooms
These can be great ways to link up with others facing similar issues, especially if there aren’t any social groups where you live or it’s difficult to get to meetings.
You might be wary of chatrooms. But following a few basic safety rules can open up a good source of support and information.
- Protect your family’s identity. Don’t use real names and don’t give out any contact details.
- Don’t trust anyone. People you chat with online aren’t the same as friends.
- Look for online communities that are closed groups, where people have been invited to join by the group leader, or that are monitored so no one can post anything inappropriate.
- Stay in the public chat space. It’s safer to be where other people can see you. Don’t respond to private messages unless you already know the person outside the chatroom.
- If someone posts something that upsets or disturbs you, report it to the group leader or moderator. If they persist, report it to the police. Cyber bullying or cyber stalking is an offence.
Scottish Transitions Forum
The Scottish Transitions Forum’s role is to support improved approaches to transitions across Scotland. They work with professionals as well as young people with additional support needs and their parents and carers, by bringing people together to share ideas, learn, identify areas for improvement and come up with solutions. They meet several times a year and the forum is open to everyone. They also provide regular e-bulletin updates along with training and information sessions across Scotland.
ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland)
This is a new online directory of services. Enter your postcode and a few keywords, e.g. “disability” or “carers”, for details of services near you. Because it’s new there are still a lot of gaps, but services are being added all the time, so it’s worth checking if you’re looking for something in particular – and if there’s something in your area that others might want to know about, you can add it yourself.
You don’t have to register to search the database, but if you want to add information, share links with someone else, or save a personalised list of organisations you’d like to follow, you’ll need to create an account (it’s free).
Getting in touch with the Contact helpline
You can get in touch with our helpline by phone, email, Facebook or Twitter, and we can access an interpreter if necessary.
Find out more about how to contact us.
Parent and carer support networks can be the best sources of local information and advice.
Download the list below, or contact us to ask about support groups in your area.
As part of our transition workshop programme, we produced short directories of local services for each area visited. Click on the image to download any handbook.