What if I think my child needs help?
If you think your child needs extra support, or you’re concerned about their progress, you can talk to:
- your child’s teacher (early childhood education or school)
- their school principal or head teacher
- the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO), if the school has one
- someone in your local Ministry of Education office
- your doctor
- your iwi health authority
- public health nurse.
These people can recognise if your child needs extra support. This might involve someone:
- talking with you, your family/whānau and others who might care for your child
- asking you about your observations of your child and their developmental history
- observing your child in different places
- talking with your child
- carrying out formal tests
- looking at your child’s ability to learn what’s being taught
- looking at the learning environment and at who can support them
- looking at how your child learns, for example, do they work better when information or instructions are written or spoken
- looking through your child’s drawings or work
- looking at any records your child’s teacher has kept about their activities and learning
- asking you about other information you have from health specialists that might be helpful.
Through some of the above you will be able to find out whether your child needs:
- different styles of teaching to help them learn
- help from a specialist
- special equipment to help them learn, see, hear or to help them move around.
back to top
The type of support your child might get
Once you know what your child’s learning needs are, there is a range of services and support available, depending on how much support they need to help them learn.
If your child has moderate needs the school will support them in a range of ways using school-based funding and services. Your school can also access resource teachers for behaviour and learning, hearing and vision, or the Ministry of Education’s Physical Disability Service.
If your child has high needs they might receive additional support from the Ministry of Education through a range of schemes and services:
The terms ‘moderate’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ needs are special education terms. These words are only used to describe how much help your child will need to join in and learn alongside the children in their class.
Your child might receive help from a speech-language therapist, psychologist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist, special education advisor, kaitakawaenga/Māori advisor, or an adviser on deaf children.
If your child has high needs, you might also be able to get help from the Ministry with transport to school, extra equipment and with modifying school buildings.
Also in this section