It’s important to take things one step at a time and arm yourself with as much information as possible to help you get the best from the various services you will need to access throughout the stages of your child’s life.
Parents have told us that they find it hard to navigate the system to find the appropriate help for their child. The following groups are a good starting point:
- Disability Connect based in Auckland specialises in assisting families find a pathway to the right resources and assistance.
- IHC advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of people with intellectual disabilities. They provide information for families on their website and they also produce a free toolkit on CDRom for parents. It covers many of the key issues for parents of children with a disability. For a copy call 0800 442 442
- Parent2parent (Matua ki te Matua) is an organisation set up for the families of those living with disability, to support and empower parents and whanau. They also have information on their website for siblings.
- The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind offers specialised services for children and young people. A social worker will firstly undertake a needs assessment to identify which services you will benefit from. You will then be referred on to the appropriate organisations. This support will continue up to the age of 18 or 21 depending on the needs of the child.
- The National Foundation for the Deaf has a useful section to help you find audiologists, hearing therapists and other helpful organisations in your area.
- The Family Services Directory lists organisations that you may find helpful. You can search by keywords to narrow down the list.
- Weka provides information about disability and lists support services for parents. Many of these offer support for a specific disability.