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Talking to your doctor about your child's diagnosis

You may find the news that your child has an impairment, condition or additional needs hard to take in or a shock. You might not know what to ask your doctor or you may struggle to remember your questions.

Getting a diagnosis for your child

Take a look at these examples for help talking to health professionals after diagnosis.

After diagnosis

  • What are the next steps after my child’s diagnosis?
  • What are the long-term implications?

Doctors cannot always predict the future and children can defy medical expectations, both positively and negatively.

Talking to parents of an older child with the same condition can help, but every child is different. Your child’s personality, your family life and other external factors will affect your child’s future as it does with non-disabled children.

Your child’s condition is only one part of who they are.

Referrals, therapies and interventions

  • Are there any therapies or interventions needed?
  • If yes, how effective is it? Are there any complications or side effects?
  • Who or which department are you referring me to and why?
  • Are there any clinical trials or medical innovations that might help my child?

After a new referral, the new department may send information about whether you need to take anything to the appointment.

Call the department reception if you’re unsure about the information or want to check if you should bring anything.

Managing your child's condition

  • What can I do to best help my child with this?
  • Can you signpost me to reliable sources of information, including websites and organisations?
  • How can I talk to you again? Do I need my GP to refer me again or will my child’s case remain open?
  • Can I have a letter confirming my child’s diagnosis, outlining the condition and its implications in plain English, to help me when dealing with other agencies?

Last reviewed by Scope on: 18/08/2021

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