A lot of the possible equipment to support your child in their day-to-day life is mentioned in the other equipment sections. There are many other items and accessories, sometimes small, which can also make a difference and help your child participate fully at home and school, including for example:
- Automatic page turners, book holders and adapted pencil grips
- Ramps and grab bars
- Specialised handles and grips to help with eating and reaching
Your child’s occupational therapist (OT) or physio will discuss your child’s needs and what may be helpful for them. They may well be able to provide what you need. If your child’s needs are medical, funding should come from the health authority. If their need is about personal care and daily living, funding is from the Local Authority via Social Services. Your OT should guide you. You may also find it helpful to look at the Health & Social Care section.
These budgets are limited and may not cover every item that your OT suggests could be useful and there can be delays. Also, new products are coming on to the market all the time. If you do want to see what the range is, and potentially buy anything yourself, do ‘try before you buy’. You may find it helpful to visit one of the equipment exhibitions held around the country, which is where you’ll be able to talk with a range of providers. There are four ‘kidz’ exhibitions in the UK a year specifically for children and young people (aged up to 25 years). You’ll find details of these and other events and exhibitions that may be useful here: Equipment Exhibitions, Sport and Other Events
If an item can’t be funded by the health or local authority but your OT or other professional can verify your child would benefit from it, you may be able to get help with funding. Support Services at SMA UK can suggest charities that may provide a grant. Most charities will need:
- a letter from your OT / physio to say that what you've chosen is suitable, safe and meets your child’s needs and that the NHS / Local Authority is unable to provide funding
- your quote from the supplier detailing costs, including any extra accessories and delivery. Items are only likely to be exempt of VAT if they've been ‘designed solely for disabled people’ (the general rule for whether an item is VAT exempt). Ask the supplier to check for you.
You can find related information in the Living With SMA section:
Funding For Equipment
Page last reviewed / updated: April 2021
Next review due: April 2022