If your family is affected by ADHD either with a child or adult or both, life can be challenging.
The management of a child with ADHD can be complex and may require a multi-modal approach tailored to the specific needs of each child. Understanding and accepting the condition is half the battle for those having to deal with ADHD on a regular basis such as parents, siblings, teachers etc. This can be very difficult for some family members, however it is vital for everyone including extended family to understand and know what is expected of them. Those involved can make a positive impact on an individual by showing appreciation and acknowledgement of the person’s ADHD.
Family counselling can play an important part in family dynamics, providing the counsellor has good knowledge of ADHD. Check this before starting. Siblings often struggle to cope with the challenges of living with a brother or sister who has special needs. Support for them can be found also – see our links page
Parenting courses also play an important role in managing your child with ADHD. Incredible Years is widely available and is free. For details see the Ministry of Education website www.minedu.govt.nz. For other recommended parenting courses go to links.
You may be eligible for various government supports depending on your situation. Some of these are:
Child Disability Allowance (WINZ)
This allowance does not depend on income or costs and helps those caring for children with a disability at home. Children who are under 17 years and have severe ADHD are entitled to this allowance.
Disability Allowance (WINZ)
This helps towards extra costs you or a family member have because of a disability. It can help with costs like regular visits to the doctor, hospital, medicines, extra clothes, food or travel. It does depend on your income, assets and costs.
Childcare Assistance (WINZ)
Childcare Assistance provides financial support for childcare and out of school care. The level of support is based on a person’s income and number of children they have. It includes Childcare Subsidy for pre-school children and Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) subsidy for children aged 5 – 13.
This is a service funded by the Ministry of Health. It offers the carer/support person a break by helping to pay for an alternative carer for an agreed number of days. It is based on an assessment by a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) agency. Carer support days can also be used to pay for various after school and recreational programmes.
Help at School
If you are worried your child is not progressing at school, either in learning or behaviour, then talk to the classroom teacher, the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or the principal.
Students with a disability, or a learning or behavioural difficulty may have access to the following assistance options:
- Extra assistance
- Adapted programmes or learning environments
- Specialised equipment or materials
You can ask for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting. This is attended by all the people closely involved with the student in order to identify needs and set goals. It gives the school and home a chance to work together to form strategies and exchange information and gives the student a better chance of success. Make sure roles and responsibilities are allocated and a review date is set.
Your child might be referred to a Resource Teacher: Learning & Behaviour (RTLB). These teachers are specially trained and may work in just one school or across a group of schools. They might provide direct teaching or help the classroom teacher or aide with teaching strategies and behavioural management techniques.
Each school receives a Special Education Grant (SEG) to support students with moderate levels of difficulty, however the school sets priorities to best meet these needs. This fund is used for teacher aides etc.
Various other services are available, though less common. These are described on the Ministry of Education website:
Contact us now for more information.