There are a variety of supports available for children with physical disabilities depending on diagnosis. During the pre-school years your child will most likely be referred to an Early Intervention Team that operates out of the Child Development Services (CDS) which is a Public Service within your local District Health Board (DHB). Depending on the level of support your child needs will determine the range of qualified team members that will be assigned to be involved.
A typical early intervention team consists of the following,
- Visiting Neurodevelopmental Therapist (VNT) assist babies and toddlers with all areas of their early development through positioning and play.
- Speech Language Therapists (SLT) support families where there are feeding difficulties and help with early communication through play.
- Dieticians give advice on nutrition, food or supplements needed for healthy growth.
- Physiotherapists (PT) focus on posture, movement and physical skills needed for activity.
- Occupational Therapists (OT) encourage the development of hand function and support the learning of specific skills your child needs for every day living.
- Social Workers support families to reduce stress and assist in managing family and community life.
This team will work closely with other organisations that will provide support in other areas,
- Needs Assessment Service (NASC)
- Paediatric Specialists
- Ministry of Education, Special Education
- Pre-schools and Schools
- Homecare for Kids
- Equipment Providers
- CCS Disability Action
- Ohomairangi Early Intervention Service
Other organisations providing early intervention,
- GlowKids is an Auckland-based service providing assessment, advice, early childhood education and therapy for children. They have a team of Conductive Education specialists, therapists, sensory specialists, and early childhood teachers.
- Conductive Education Waikato is Hamilton-based providing general movement assessments, group Conductive Education sessions, early childhood education, speech & language therapy, hydrotherapy and assistive technology for communication. CLICK HERE to download their brochure.
- McKenzie Centre is Hamilton-based and provides specialist Early Intervention for pre-school children who have special needs. They provide a child centred, play based and family-focused pre-school environment up to the age of 6 years. CLICK HERE to download their brochure.