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South Africans Going To New Zealand

Author Topic: Advice -amazing kid with learning difficulties  (Read 737 times)

Offline OracleFox

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Advice -amazing kid with learning difficulties
« on: April 26, 2016, 05:02:38 am »
Hi there!

I'm looking for some advice please regarding how things work in NZ with kids with learning difficulties. Our 5 year old son was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder ( completely normal just sensory seeking) at a very young age. For this he attends both OT and speech therapy here in SA which help him tremendously.

How does this work in say Auckland? Do they offer therapies like this at school? Or do you have to seek private therapy - and where?  Are the teachers approachable and on board with assisting in any way? We suspect that he is ADD too but is too young to be fully diagnosed and this is absolutely fine we just need to monitor it but it may require Ritalin at some point. (Please could I ask you not to judge me as a previous forum did - I am merely looking for some advice from people who are walking a journey with kids with learning difficulties :))

In SA we are extremely fortunate to have access to these therapies as well as a pediatric specialist and and an amazing school support system with teachers on board etc. I would just like to know if I would be able to get the same assistance here? 

Any advice would be sincerely appreciated thank you

Offline ShaunB

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Re: Advice -amazing kid with learning difficulties
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 10:36:56 pm »

Firstly, great question! Even though I cant answer it fully, it helps those who don't want to ask them. More readers than you know benefit from these types of questions.

Anyway, my son attends OT at school and with a therapist suggested by the school, it is not covered by the school and we pay extra for it.

But in the school there are so many assistant teachers available its unbelievable, these range from learning challenges to social challenges and even assistance for immigrant children these all seem to be covered by the school.

You might find a bit of a waiting list for certain programs which are free for example, one of my kids was referred to the RTLB program (resource teacher learning behavior or something along those lines) shortly after we got here. There was a bit of a waiting list to get on it and when they eventually did assess him he seemed to have "grown out" of the need and adapted perfectly fine by himself.

Extra assistant teachers seem available all the time and tend to work with the children in small groups during school time.

At 5 years old he will start primary school already. And what I have seen, like everyone else will be taken care of accordingly and properly. NZ takes care of the children and takes their education and well being really seriously.

Sometimes you are not even aware that your child is getting extra help and you will be surprised at just how many kids are getting extra help.

Having 4 years difference between my two kids, we had an opportunity to really see how different the early years in school are between SA and NZ and can compare the two. In our case there really is a massive difference where kids who are schooled from the beginning in NZ are so confident and independent that its really scary.

My eldest seems to be playing catch up for what he missed out on not being here which my youngest is getting straight off the bat, these are one of the reasons we find ourselves saying over and over that we should have moved here years ago.

This has been my experience but I think will be the same for most, I hope that makes sense and answered a part of your question.
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SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Advice -amazing kid with learning difficulties
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 10:36:56 pm »

Offline OracleFox

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Re: Advice -amazing kid with learning difficulties
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 12:32:05 pm »
Hi ShaunB

Thank you so very much for your feedback.  It has definitely helped me with some insight! x