Professional support

There may be times when you need support from a professional. If you are feeling like you are struggling emotionally you can contact your GP for a referral to an NHS counsellor.  If you need support with your child you may be referred to your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  However, there can be long waiting times for these services and the provision is often time-limited.  Other options are outlined below under Organisations or Private Practitioners.  

It can also help to find other parents in a similar situation, or with a child with the same diagnosis (or undiagnosed). There are many Facebook groups and blogs so it can be worth searching online. 


Action for Asperger's

Counselling for individuals with autism spectrum conditions as well as their family and friends. Based in Corby.  Telephone:  01536 266681 Email:

Birth Trauma Association

The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) supports all women who have had a traumatic birth experience. It is estimated that, in the UK alone, this may result in 10,000 women a year developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   Also, as many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms of PTSD. The BTA wants women to know that they are not alone. The website offers emotional and practical support to women and also their families. 

Care for the Family

Care for the Family is a national organisation dedicated to strengthening family life.  As part of our work we provide a telephone befriending service which offers understanding and a listening ear to parents of children who have additional needs.  Our trained befrienders are themselves parents of children with additional needs.  
We also produce a regular newsletter and have a dedicated Facebook page.  
For more information visit, ring 0291 2081 0800 or email:

Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.  To find your nearest Network Partner, call 0844 800 43610844 800 4361 or visit  Carers Trust also supports carers through online services, and

Carers UK

Carers UK is here to make life better for carers. Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. We are here to listen, to give you expert advice and information that is tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and campaign for lasting change and to and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, work or wherever you are.  Telephone: 020 7378 4999  Email:

Cerebra Stress helpline

Cerebra have a stress helpline and informative book on stress in families.  They also have a useful Problem-Solving Toolkit for families encountering difficulties with statutory agencies.  Telephone: 01267 244200

Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) offers support via email or telephone to families with a relative who has severe learning disabilities. ‘Severe learning disabilities’ means that the person has no speech or very limited speech, and requires support with everyday tasks like dressing and washing. The CBF provides a range of information resources and can also link families for peer-to-peer support. Telephone: 01634 838739. Click here

The Children's Trust

The Children's Trust is the UK's leading charity for children with brain injury.  We provide expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at our specialist centre in Tadworth, supporting children and families across the UK. We also offer services in communities around the country and online support for parents.  For further information on our services, please visit

Contact a Family

CAF puts you in contact with other families with a similar condition or in your local area.  Telephone: 0808 808 3555

Couple Connection

Couple Connection provides a wide range of articles, self-assessment tools, activities, quizzes, exercises and courses to help you to improve and strengthen your relationship including a dedicated service for those with children with additional needs.

Emotional Respite Disability Counselling Service

Founded by Helen Rutherford in 2014 to provide specialist support to individuals affected by disabilities and illness. Support through diagnosis, illness, accidents resulting in injury and everyday living - not only the individual but also their family, partners and carers. Helen works in a variety of mediums to make this service more accessible. Online counselling is offered by video conferencing, audio, instant chat or e-mail. Telephone Counselling is offered to UK residents only. A face to face service is available in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  Click here

Home Start

Home-Start volunteers help families with young children deal with the challenges they face. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.  Although not specifically for families with a disabled child, many home start services will do things locally, for example, Home Start Barnet provides support for families with a child with autism.  To find your nearest home start click here


LAPIS (London Accessible Psychotherapy Independent Service) provides specialist counselling and psychotherapy to people affected by disability and life changing health issues.  LAPIS offers an affordable service to disabled people, their family and carers.  A sliding scale is in operation so you can pay according to what you can afford and therapy is available on an ongoing basis.   
Telephone: 020 8369 6088 | |


Mencap's Learning Disability Helpline is available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Tel: 0808 808 1111 or email.
Our advisors can offer you free advice and information about learning disability and help you to find the right support and Mencap services in your area.  FamilyHub is always available for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability. It's a place to share your triumphs and challenges with people who really understand. Take a look around and have a conversation.

National Autistic Society

Parent to Parent Service 0808 800 4106. Parent to Parent (P2P) is a UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults with autism.


Relate provides relationship support, including talking to a trained relationship counsellor online for free via Live Chat. Parents can find a Relate counsellor near them at: and request a counsellor with experience of working with parents of disabled children. 

Respect for All

Respect for All provides counselling taking into account what ASC or LD is and working from clients perspective as well as offering support and education to both clients and family members where necessary.  As all our counsellors have a personal understanding of ASC and or LD we feel we can offer a different perspective from most generic NHS counselling. We also offer post diagnostic work, we work towards helping clients get some self confidence through an understanding of what autism/ learning disability is for them, and work on all the issues not having this understanding has caused throughout their lives.  We also run autism support groups throughout the year, a mixed group and a female only group.   Based in Greater Manchester and try to provide services in all boroughs. Tel: 07902 223743 or email here.


Respond offers therapeutic help to people with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorders who have experienced abuse or trauma and support to their families.  Often distress in people with learning disabilities does not attract a helping response until they behave in ways that are potentially harmful to others.  Respond recognises this situation and is unique in offering therapy to both survivors and perpetrators of abuse in the same location.

Trauma may begin from birth both for the person with the learning disability themselves and for their family.   It may be compounded by inadequate care and support, institutional abuse and sometimes avoidable death.  The Family Support Service seeks to help by means of individual or group support, encouraging peer support, and advocacy in limited circumstances.  Family or individual therapy may be available.  Tel: 0207 383 0700   Email:

Scope Face 2 Face Befriending

Scope Face 2 Face provide local, email and telephone befriending.  Click here.  Telephone: 0844 800 9189


Sibs supports brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults. 

Stroke Association (Childhood Stroke Project)

The Stroke Association offers a support service for families affected by stroke in childhood. For more information, please click here.


YoungMinds offer free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.
The YoungMinds Parents Helpline is open from 9.30 to 4.00pm, Mon- Fri - 0808 802 5544 (free for mobiles and landlines)
Alternatively you can email the YoungMinds Parents Helpline by filling out the online contact form and selecting ‘Parents Helpline’ from the list.

Affinityhub does not take responsibility for any of the professionals or organisations listed on this website. If you wish to receive further details or have any concerns over their practise you will need to contact them direct or their registration organisation.

Cerebra Stress helpline
0800 043 9385
Scope Face to face befriending
0844 800 9189
Contact a Family
0808 808 3555

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