Thanks to today’s digital society, there’s a lot of information and knowledge to take advantage of as a family with children who have special needs. It’s easier today to share knowledge and information and thereby normalize that all children do not look the same. And above all, that each child has different conditions. This way, we can ensure that our society adapts the environment in the right way to make sure that the children have a chance to live their best life.
In Sweden, children with special needs have the right to support and protection according to various laws and regulations. As a family with children who have special needs, it’s important to know of three Swedish laws, all of which exist to secure children’s conditions in our society.
1. The Swedish Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments
One of the most important laws protecting children with special needs is The Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments, also known as LSS. According to the LSS, children with special needs have the right to personal assistance, accommodation support and other measures needed to make sure they get the opportunity to live an independent life. LSS also means that children with special needs have the right to daily activities and leisure activities adapted to their individual needs.
To be able to get help according to LSS, you have to qualify according to one of below.
- People with developmental disabilities, autism or autism-like conditions.
- People with significant and permanent intellectual disability after brain damage in adulthood caused by external violence or physical illness.
- People with other permanent physical or mental disabilities that are clearly not due to normal ageing. Or if they are large and cause significant difficulties in daily life and thus an extensive need for support or service.
Getting help according to LSS is not always easy. Sometimes you as a relative may need a lot of documentation before your child gets the help they need. A reason to this is beause affected families are expected to be able to navigate within the law without prior knowledge. Becuase of that, it can be good to try and get help when you apply for support according to the LSS.
2. The School Act
Another important law that protects all children and especially those with special needs is the School Act. According to the School Act, all children have the right to equal education. The schools are obliged to adapt teaching and the environment to the children’s needs to ensure that they receive an inclusive education.
If your child needs smaller adjustments in school then you don’t need to validate in any way that your child has special needs. It’s enough that your child expresses difficulty in keeping up with school. This applies if, for example, your child is disturbed by noise and needs ear muffs. Or if they’re easily overstimulated and needs to take breaks during lessons. If, however, your child needs special educational support, it’s important that the right people are involved in creating an environment best suited for your child.
3. Health care for children with special needs
All children have the right to health and medical care according to the Health and Medical Services Act. But unfortunately, some children are in more need of healthcare than others. Therefore, it’s also important that you as a parent know what to do if your child isn’t receiving the right care.
The Health and Medical Services Act means that children have the right to care and treatment adjusted to their individual needs. It may include habilitation, rehabilitation, medical treatment and other necessary care. What many families of children with special needs find difficult is usually not the right to care, but rather how to get the right healthcare. As a parent of a child with special needs, you need to know where to turn to in order to get the right help. And for obvious reasons, this isn’t easy for a person who doesn’t work in healthcare.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your child isn’t receiving the right care despite contacting the right authorities, it’s important that you seek the help of a lawyer who can prosecute your case. Sometimes it helps to have someone on your side with a different perspective on the situation. Someone who knows which strings to pull so that your child gets help as quickly as possible.