If you're concerned about your child's health, development or behaviour talk to your Plunket nurse, family doctor, or early childhood teacher. They may be able to help assess your tamariki and arrange to keep in touch with you as your child grows and develops so that any additional needs can be identified and supported as early as possible.
It can be hard for you and your family to receive a diagnosis your child has additional needs. A diagnosis could come during pregnancy, after your baby is born, or later, when they are a young child.
It’s important to take care of yourself during this challenging time, so reach out if you need support and encouragement. Talk to your whānau, friends or someone who may have similar experiences with their own children. Call PlunketLine or one of the support organisations below.
You may want or need extra support as you raise your child with additional needs. There are many organisations that can help you and your whānau. Below is a list of a few organisations that may be able to help.
- Allergy NZ offers support, information and advocacy for people with allergies - food allergies in particular - or anaphylaxis.
- Asthma NZ - provides education, training and support to people with asthma and their families.
- Autism New Zealand provide support, information and education on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for individuals, their family/whānau, caregivers, and professionals who engage with them.
- Blind Low Vision NZ supports individuals and advocates for inclusive communities and for optimal eye care services for all New Zealanders.
- CCS Disability Action provides services and support for all people with disabilities. It works to ensure the rights of disabled people are acknowledged and that disabled people are included in all aspects of life.
- Deaf Children New Zealand is a parent-led, volunteer organisation that supports parents, families and whānau, and ensures that Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have access to the education curriculum and social experiences within the schooling environment.
- IHC advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community.
- Multiples NZ is a national organisation represented by 20 local clubs across Aotearoa that provide support, information and advice to families with multiples (twins, triplets and higher order multiples).
- New Zealand Down Syndrome Association works alongside families, whānau and carers to support and empower people with Down syndrome.
- Parent to Parent is a national organisation that supports the families of babies, children, teens and adults with any type of disability or health impairment.
- Parents of Vision Impaired (N.Z.) Incorporated, or PVI, enrols and supports parents who have blind or vision-impaired children.