Good news, and beautiful things

I have two pieces of good news, and two beautiful things to share.

First, New Zealand’s childhood immunisation rates have hit a record high! Maybe the messages about vaccines not being evil and not causing autism, are finally sinking in!

Second, we had the wonderful news that the government has adjusted how it provides school funding for special needs children. My son receives funding (after an arduous process), but it was going to be reviewed in three years time. At which point we would have gone through the excessive stress of re-applying and dealing with all the un-knowns. The system has changed so that we no longer have to reapply for special funding, he now will receive support until the end of his schooling!

And on another (and somewhat random) happy note. Today is my seventh wedding anniversary!

And finally, I just felt like sharing two photos I took today of a praying mantis in our garden. Both because my header is a praying mantis (and has that little story to go along with it), and just because it’s my blog and I can 😀 . (All rights reserved of course, don’t be stealing my photos, thank you. But feel free to steal (or rather share in) my good mood, I’ve got enough to go around today.)

[Edit: I forgot to mention that I also won a DVD today!]

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11 Responses to Good news, and beautiful things

  1. KWombles says:

    Love the photos! And all the good news, too. 😉

  2. Jack says:

    Yes I agree all great news.

    We went to an ASD picnic the other day and were getting freaked out by the horror stories of re-applying for funding. I’m not sure what the logic was before, did the govt expect our children to grow out of it?

    Your garden my be mantis heaven! I’ve only got a million cicadas signing in my backyard.

    • Well said Jack, I had the same thoughts – it’s not like autism goes away. It can “get better” but if they’re severely delayed and struggling at age 5, they are very likely to still need extra help at age 8. The letter they sent us said most people were granted the school-life-long funding anyway at the 3-year review, so they’ve changed the system to save a lot of time and heartache, and just put everyone already approved through, and changed the system for new-comers too (for the better all-round it seems).

      And yes the mantis do seem to love our garden! We’ve also got a deafening contingent of cicadas too 🙂

      • Jack says:

        Is this the funding for an ESW at the school or general support funding?

        Does your son have an ESW? We just got one for our son at playcenter, but its been a bit of a horror process as it was handled by the Playcentre Association. Never again.

  3. shazza says:

    Good news all round. Especially the immunisation rates.

  4. Jack,

    Yes, my son had an ESW at kindergarten, for the better part of two years. If you thought that was hard to get you’re really going to hate the application process for school support when they turn five. Getting ORRS funding allows your child to attend a special needs school if you want them to, or have support at a mainstream school (or you can go for the middle ground like us – satellite class run by a special needs school in a mainstream school). That process took about a months work of about three therapists plus our input as his parents, until we got the final draft together. Even then only about 50% of applications get approved. And even then it would only last for 3 years for some people until it had to be done again – it’s that last part which has now been gotten rid of.

    Please do feel free to ask if you want more information about all of that. I’m tempted to do a post about each step because I know how confusing and over-whelming it is.

    I take it the MOE and the MOH are currently supporting your son? What government supplied therapists do you have, or have been told you’re going to get?

    • Jack says:

      Umm, I’m used to acronyms but I’m in a bit of an overload with that paragraph! To tell you the truth I’m not sure who is supporting us really. We have gone down the private path, my son has just started at Wellington Early Intervention Trust. I guess we will get more info from them as time goes on.

      • You’ll find it becomes vital to have the Ministry of Education (MOE) on board if you plan to get extra support (like a teacher aide) in the classroom. They don’t come cheap! The MOE would also fund other services like a speech therapist and occupational therapist, within the school environment.

        The Ministry of Health (MOH) is involved with the preschool age children – they can get a physiotherapist and occupational therapist through them at that age.

        Going private for the diagnosis stills entitles you to access to all the government funding and services (as I understand it, I’ll look that up though). Your son’s pediatrician should have sent off the diagnosis to the relevant government agencies to get the ball rolling. I do know that not all pediatricians are reliable or good at making sure their clients get the support their entitled to.

        I’ve decided I will do a post about the steps we took (from doctor to pediatrican to the relevant ministries and how that changes from preschool to school-age). Even though you started out the private route, it will still be relevant for you, and will help you figure out what happens next, or what you might be entitled to now.

        I’ll add a link to this comment when I’ve done that.

        Here it is, hope it helps.

  5. Katie B says:

    Just found your site. Excellent!!! And good news about the immunisation rates as well.

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