If someone in your family has ADHD, life can be challenging. Interacting with someone who has ADHD can have benefits, but can also be complex and may require a multi-modal approach tailored to the specific needs of that person.
Understanding and accepting
ADHD can be very difficult for you, however it is vital that everyone including extended family, teachers, youth workers and co-workers understands and knows what is expected of them. You can all make a positive impact on someone living with ADHD by showing appreciation and acknowledgement of them.
This can play an important part in your 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 receives extra attention.
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)
Childcare Assistance (WINZ)
Childcare Assistance provides financial support for childcare and out-of-school care. The level of support is based on your income and number of children you have. It includes Childcare Subsidy for pre-school children, Out-of-School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) subsidy for children aged 5 – 13 years.
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 learning or behavioural difficulties may have access to the following assistance options:
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: www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents/YourChild/SupportForYourChild