Disability Support

This is the section to check out if you are looking for information about the services that can support you and your child with a disability or long-term condition.

Young girl with a disability holding her parents' arms on a walk

Skills like learning to crawl or walk, wave or talk are called developmental milestones. These milestones are things most pēpi and tamariki can do by a certain age. All children are different and develop at different speeds and in their own time.

If you receive news that your child has special needs, you may experience a range of emotions. Remember, there are services available when you want or need help.

When your child is diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability, coping is an ongoing process. Everybody copes in a different way. Ask for help when you need it.

When raising a child with a disability or illness, there may be appointments to attend and lots of healthcare providers to interact with. Having some systems in place to manage appointments and medical information can help you adapt to your new ‘normal’. 

Nobody has a longer relationship with a family member with a disability than their sibling. Watch Parent to Parent's videos of siblings telling their stories and find out about some sibling support groups. 

If your child has a long-term disability, a needs assessment is a step towards getting support or services for your child and family.

Children develop at different rates. Check out what to do if you have concerns about your preschool child's development. There are a range of services for children who need support. 

Financial support may be available because of your child's extra needs. 

Your child may need Learning Support services if they have any issues that are affecting their learning or participation in everyday life.

If your child needs extra support for learning and development there are qualified, experienced people in early intervention services who can work with you. This support is available from birth through to when your child starts school.

Most tamariki (children) with extra learning needs receive support from their school. But if teachers decide your child needs extra learning support, the Ministry of Education's Learning Support team can help. Staff at your child's school or early childhood education centre will coordinate extra services.

Support is available for your child to continue their education if they can't go to school because they're very sick or they have a severe medical condition and need support to be able to be at school safely.

Find out more about the support available for tamariki (children) with the highest level of need to help them join in and learn alongside other tamariki at school.

A listing of New Zealand support groups for disabilities, health impairments, special needs and disorders.