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Did you know this about having a child with additional needs?

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Having a child with additional needs can be costly, time-consuming, tiring but ultimately rewarding. All of the extra stress and work can put pressure on relationships. Below you will find some statistics about caring for a child with additional needs in the UK.

How many children have additional needs?

  • There are 570,000 children with disabilities in England. (1)
  • There are 770,000 disabled and chronically ill children. (2)

Are relationships affected by having a child with additional needs?

  • A survey of couples caring for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder found that 65% of couples had divorced, separated or experienced marital distress. (3)
  • In a survey of parents caring for a child with a disability 53% believed it had caused either ‘some’ or ‘major’ difficulties or the breakdown of the relationship. (4)

How much does it cost to raise a child with additional needs?

  • The cost of bringing up a child with disabilities is £7,335 per year compared to £2,100 for a non-disabled child. (5)

How much time do couples spend caring for a child with additional needs?

  • 1.2 million people of working age provide care for 20 hours a week or more; three quarters of a million are either economically inactive or work part-time – of these, 70 % are women. (6)
  • 15% of those who receive more than 20 hours unpaid care by adults are children.
  • 26% of married couples with children who are providing unpaid care are caring for their own child. (6)

For more help and support read:


  1. HM Treasury. (2007). Policy review of children and young people: A discussion paper. Available from:
  2. National Statitsics. (2004). Living in Britain : Results from the 2002 General Household Survey. Available from:
  3. ADDISS. (2006). ADDISS Families Survey. Available from:
  4. Contact a Family. (2004). No time for us: Relationships between parents who have a disabled child: A survey of over 2000 parents in the UK. London: Contact a Family.
  5. Beresford, B. (1994). Caring for a severely disabled child. Social Care Research Findings, 54. Joseph Rowntree Foundation: York.
  6. Smallwood, S. & Wilson, B. eds. (2007). Focus on Families. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.



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