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NEW ZEALAND’S FAMILY DISABILITY MAGAZINE

December 2018

Keeping it simple

Anne's world in art The Cow Shed

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Kia ora readers...

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t’s been a busy year for Parent to Parent NZ – we welcomed a new CEO, a long-awaited physical presence in Hawke’s Bay, and demand for our workshops has increased significantly in every region. Looking ahead to 2019, national office in Hamilton is moving in January, and we’ll keep you up to speed with our four major fundraisers in February, March, July and October. Congratulations to our magazine survey winner Olivia Matautia from Auckland, selected from around 150 readers for the $100 Prezzy Card. The survey results were interesting: • • • • •

Most readers are in the Bay of Plenty, followed by Auckland and Waikato The majority are aged 30-39, closely followed by 40-49 95 % are female 87% have a family member with a disability, and the rest have a disability themselves Nearly 74 % of you are not associated with Parent to Parent

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76% read this magazine online and nearly half of you share it with family and friends You want to read more stories on people with disabilities, Support Parents, health and wellbeing and disability research.

Thank you for this valuable information – we appreciate feedback and continue to provide readers with the magazine content you ask for. As the end of the year is upon us, on behalf of Parent to Parent NZ I wish all our readers a safe and restful break, some memorable get-togethers with family and friends, and a welldeserved recharge.

Sue Pairaudeau, Editor

Since you're here ... More people are reading our magazine than ever, because the voices of families and people with disabilities matter – what they say is crucial for positive transformation of the disability sector. We want to bring you more stories from people, news, information and research, and we’re on track to be New Zealand’s leading cross-disability magazine. But all this takes time and hard work, and our advertising revenue doesn’t even cover the cost of printing. If everyone who reads our magazine and likes it, also helps to support it, families continue to be empowered, and the wellbeing of their loved ones with disabilities transformed. For $30 you can subscribe to receive our four issues a year. Digital issues via email are free, but we’d really appreciate a supportive donation! Click here to donate.

Editor: Sue Pairaudeau Editorial: Staff writers, guest contributors, and freelancers Monica Holt, Clare Chapman, Rachel Binning Advertising: Carey McLaughlin Graphic design: Te Reo Hughes and Steven Mahoney Cover: Support Parent Yaz Dolbel-Neville is documenting son Glenn's journey. Photo supplied Printing: Annex Group ISSN 2463-3631 (Print) ISSN 2463-3585 (Online) Copyright: Seek permission from the editor for the whole or part reproduction of any contents in this publication. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of contributing writers and not necessarily those of Parent to Parent NZ. Parent to Parent NZ cannot endorse services or products in paid advertisements.

PHONE

0508 236 236 national@parent2parent.org.nz WEBSITE parent2parent.org.nz FACEBOOK @parent2parentnz TWITTER @parent2parentNZ INSTAGRAM /parenttoparentnz LINKEDIN /company/parent2parentnz EMAIL

Hono, kōrerotia, tautoko • Connect, inform, support family and whānau of Kiwis living with disabilities.


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CONTENTS 4 7 8 10 12 14 16 18

Keeping it simple Life goes swimmingly Portia Johnson

Opinion Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero

Cover story: Tough Journey put to good use

Anne's world in artworks Anne Westerskov

Opinion

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The voice behind Soar Jack Lovett-Hurst

ADHD makes me mentally faster Aran Ziegler

Opinion Dr Anthea Skinner

Charity brings children and dogs together Health and wellbeing Sue Pairaudeau

Minister for Disability Rights Carmel Sepuloni

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A few fave things

News

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New faces

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Disability directory

Jack's rural retreat The Cow Shed

Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

Keeping it simple By RACHEL BINNING Freelance writer

to undertake cognitive testing, which resulted in suspected dyspraxia.

or chartered accountant Anna Scott, mum of three, wife to Andrew and founder of the ‘We love our quirky kids’ Facebook page, life is full and fulfilling.

What to do next was made easier by connection with another parent on Facebook on a similar journey.

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A full family life includes Anna’s eldest son Ben, 15, who has dyspraxia and sensory processing issues, which he does not allow to get in the way of living life to the maximum. The Scott family approach to their “really bright kid and super funny” young man is to give him “the best we can” so Ben can reach his potential. A self-proclaimed “mamma bear”, Anna is very protective of her whole family and has found navigating the systems she has found her family in at times very difficult and heartbreaking.

“… she gave me the next steps to take with school and general practitioner (GP). This was so helpful as I had no idea what to ask for.” The Scotts had meetings with the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Ben's teacher and Wellington Child Development Service. This service provided a diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or dyspraxia. “I now understood why coordination tasks were harder for Ben and we could start tapping into the resources available to help him.”

However, as Anna pragmatically says, “there are also people out there who are worse off than us and really we are very blessed as a family”.

Anna soon discovered there were not many resources available and it was difficult to access help without “forking out lots of money”. It also did not help that Ben was deemed too old for occupational therapy in the public system.

The journey

Getting the right help for Ben

Ben was in Year 5 at school when his teacher mentioned to Anna and Andrew that kids were teasing Ben about his writing when solving a maths problem on the whiteboard. Anna recalled they were calling him “dummy”.

Overcoming the barriers the system presented proved an expensive and time-consuming experience. To Anna these barriers “seemed crazy”. They included: •

An educational psycologist report so Ben could have Special Assesment Conditions (SAC)2 for school (college level). A report at $500 each is updated every three years

Organising a reader-writer to enable Ben to sit exams

Waiting lists to see the right people. Ben is currently waiting for an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessment

Seeing a new GP who specialises in dyspraxia and sensory processing issues, which was not anticipated.

“Ben is very good at maths but his numbers were often flipped backwards”. More-than-stereotypical messy boys’ writing, coupled with Ben’s younger brother Hamish writing more legibly than him, raised alarm bells for Andrew and Anna. “It’s hard when a child is the eldest; as parents we don't know what to expect as 'normal'.” The Scott’s started investigating. They employed Speld NZ1

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Parent to Parent December 2018


People

The Scott Family demonstrate their Christmas spirit: (L to R): Hamish 12, Andrew, Ben 15, Emma 8, and Anna. Photo: Rachel Binning

“I wish I had known all I know now five years ago. I think for a lot of people knowing where to go, who to ask and what to ask for, are barriers.” Giving each other support “When Ben was younger, doing things as a family could be hard as he could become quite oppositional if we did something he didn't like or was just difficult.” The Scott family now gives each other space and time to do the things each loves to do. Ben’s needs are taken into consideration including avoiding overly noisy or too-busy situations. “… you do what you need to do to make it work for your family. It’s easier to support each other when you are under less pressure which can be a challenge at times with a busy family” Outside of family support Anna found talking with friends in a similar situation as her own and with the Parent to Parent coffee group in Tawa

useful early on; especially to hear what other people were facing and how to work things through. “Information from Parent to Parent has been amazing; especially the information packs they can send out to you.” Giving back Finding herself in a good place in her life, family and career, Anna decided it was time to pass the knowledge on that she gained from supporting and guiding her own family through the tough times. A self-confessed lover of talking, sharing and getting support from others, Anna created the ‘We love our quirky kids’ Facebook page earlier in 2018. The page started out with a group of local parents meeting for combinations of coffee, dessert, a wine and a chat – “who had children who were ‘quirky’ and might or might not have a diagnosis, but were just a bit different from the average kid”. ‘We love our quirky kids’ numbers have steadily climbed to 100 people eager to know how the system works and to share their ideas and experiences of navigating government and non-government agency systems. Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

News

“I wanted people to be able to know how to get through the system as it’s not always easy.” Anna’s messages to Parent to Parent readers •

Use available resources “in this great organisation”, such as SibSupportNZ workshops and camps, information packs, talking to another parent phone calls, and talking to your local Parent to Parent team

Approach specific diagnosis-named organisations for support, e.g, Altogether Autism

Be the advocate for your child – “no one else will do it as well as you”

Don't worry about being 'that parent' – “if you don't do it no one else will”.

Keeping life simple The Scott family does its best to live by the Keep it Simple (KISS) principle. For the upcoming ‘silly season’ this means keeping its expectations low over Christmas and doing “what works best for us”. Anna’s tips for surviving life (and Christmas) •

Lowering your expectations and not trying to meet other people’s expectations.

Not spending time with extended family if it does not work for your immediate family. “I find it’s when our kids are out of routine that wheels can really fall off”.

Working Christmas so your child and your needs are met.

Being kind to you so you can be there for others.

Reach out to others – sharing your situation can bring help and new friends you might not have imagined.

Not being afraid to let down your guard in a safe situation – finding a coffee group or online chat or whatever you need to have a space to share “with others who get it”.

Gone are the days of extended family and high stress. In is thinking of what is best for them as a family. 1 www.speld.org.nz: New Zealand’s largest provider

of support for thosewith dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities 2 New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) grants entitlement to SAC so approved candidates may be fairly assessed and have access to assessment for national qualifications

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Parent to Parent December 2018

Full accessibility concession a NZ first Waikato Regional Council has voted to introduce a 100% accessibility concession, providing approved people with free travel on its public bus services. Waikato will be the first region in New Zealand to provide a 100% accessibility concession, which will come into effect from mid-2019 when the new bus ticketing system is implemented. Hamilton woman Joy Ho, a regular bus user, earlier this year asked council to consider a disability concession in a submission to the Regional Public Transport Plan. Ms Ho described how buses provide freedom of movement, help her to be more active and get to and from her part-time admin job. She said more than 2500 people had signed a petition supporting her push for a concession. With the concession “the opportunities for people with disabilities are endless,” she told councillors. Waikato regional councillor and co-chair of the Hamilton Public Transport Joint Committee, Russ Rimmington, said: “Buses enable people with disabilities to live more independently – getting to jobs, medical appointments and social engagements. “A 100% concession will be a first in this country. As a progressive region, it’s important we help persons with disabilities go about their normal day.” The cost of the concession will be co-funded by the NZ Transport Agency and ratepayers, and it is estimated it will cost the council up to $75,000 a year. It will be available to any aged person who can demonstrate they have a physical, intellectual, psychological, sensory or neurological impairment that prevents them from being legally able to drive, or is such that they will be unable to drive once of a legal driving age. It will be available to those with a temporary or permanent impairment that results in a transport disability, anyone included in the Total Mobility Scheme, and will be used with a registered public transport smartcard.


People

Life goes swimmingly By PORTIA JOHNSON Special Olympics Global Messenger World Summer Games for Special Olympics (March 2019) NZ Swim Team

Swimming As mentioned in last year's Parent to Parent Magazine (March 2017) I completed my Global Messenger training (National Athlete Leadership Programme) with Special Olympics, and competed at the National Games in Wellington in December 2017. I was also torch-bearer at this event. I have now been selected to join the NZ team to go to the 2019 World Summer Games for Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi next March! I am one of three chosen from my club in Te Awamutu. Representing NZ was my dream when I first started swimming, and I'm so pleased and proud. There is lots of fundraising (it's going to cost me $12,500 to go) and extra training required. I have joined a gym with a pool to help my strength and training, linking in with a personal trainer. Thanks to my local swim coach Shelley Blair, and the National Swim Team coach Carla L’Huillier for their help and support. Work I'm still at my job (over three years) as administrative assistant at the Waikato Times (Stuff), where I work 9am2.30pm week days. People talk with me more and I feel more included in everyday work life. I am still enjoying it. I have a really supportive boss who listens to me (thanks so much Wendy). See the half-hour documentary on my journey to get here on www.attitudetv.com/Portia Wants a Job Award Another proud achievement for me in 2017 was when I received an award from Hamilton City Council in their "30 under 30" project. Flatting I moved into a two-storey flat with six others who work or study, and none of them have disabilities. This was my choice and I am really enjoying the home environment, although more social activities would be good (I'm a party animal at heart!) I sometimes have support workers who assist me with the little things to help it run smoothly. All in all, the flat is going really well and I am now becoming one of the longer-term flatties.

Transport A major challenge is getting from A to B – places I need to be at, on time. I have to rely on city buses which don't always go directly where I want, when I want. Otherwise I need Driving Miss Daisy or support workers to transport me to swim in Te Awamutu (half an hour away) and do RDA horse riding in Cambridge (also half an hour). I have been doing driving lessons to get my restricted licence so I can get myself where I want, when I want. These lessons are more than most people have to do, but I am getting better all the time. The next things I need to work on is checking more at intersections, gaps in traffic, and going on roundabouts. Friendship One thing I'd now like in my life is to meet more friends and socialise. I'm still trying to find where the best place to do that is. I’ve been clubbing a few times and I really enjoy the environment as I feel ‘freedom’ and being treated like everybody else, but I haven't found as yet that it's really the place to make close friendships. I'm almost 25 and feel like a granny sometimes when I have nobody to call on and don't have a social life. I’ve been going to a weekly quiz night with a support worker which has been fun (I get my flexible funding support through Enabling Good Lives). However, I have found that there has to be a reason for people to hang out with me (most that do are paid). My friends that want to hang out with me are not always able to as most live out of town. I enjoy going clubbing (although transport issues at night are harder) and I would like to go for walks up mountains etc., but some of my friends have their own special needs which can make joining in these activities difficult. Sometimes this makes me sad. A type of friend that would make me even more happy is another version of me. It's a tricky life to deal with ...  To support Portia to represent NZ in Abu Dhabi, contact her at porshrox94@gmail.com or https:// givealittle.co.nz/cause/get-portia-to-the-specialolympics-world-games/donations Parent to Parent December 2018

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Opinion

Suffrage 125: Remembering disabled women By PAULA TESORIERO MNZM Human Rights Disability Commissioner

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ew Zealand is a small country, known for accomplishing great things – like being the first country to give women the right to vote. Celebrations have been held around New Zealand all year celebrating the suffragists who fought for the right to vote. It has been great to look back on the power of collective action to change unfair laws. The anniversary of women being able to vote is also a great time to reflect on how far women have come since since 1893. We have achieved legal equality, women are partcipating in the workforce in large numbers, and we are close to achieving gender equality in leadership in core government services and through representation in Parliament. Our children have women role models in politics, in business, in sport ... the list goes on.

disabled women (46% vs 71%) and disabled men (46% vs 54%), and also have higher unemployment rates than nondisabled women (10% vs 6%) and disabled men (10% vs 8%). Disabled women and girls are more likely to experience violence and abuse. According to a report by the European Parliament, almost 80% of disabled women are victims of violence, and they are four times more likely than other women to suffer sexual violence (as cited in United Nations Human Rights Council, 2012, p7). When the Human Rights Commission held consultations earlier this year with disabled women one of the main issues they talked about was violence and abuse. One of the most concerning issues raised by the disabled women at those consultations was the issue that women’s refuges are not equipped to house disabled women and there are no specialist refuges for disabled women. There is literally nowhere for a disabled woman to go who wants to escape violence in their home.

According to a report by the European Parliament, almost 80% of disabled women are victims of violence.

There are areas we can and should be doing better however – our family violence statistics are shameful, our gender pay gap is still at 9.2% and is much, much wider for Māori and Pasifika women. There is also a long way to go, in particular, for disabled women. Disabled women are particularly marginalised when it comes to employment. They have lower labour force participation rates than non-

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Parent to Parent December 2018

There are many disabled women in New Zealand working hard to change the current situation – to make New Zealand a less-disabling society. One where we can all participate and enjoy the same freedoms as our peers. A great example this year was the passing of the Election Access Fund Bill introduced by Mojo Mathers, the first deaf MP in New Zealand. Chloe Swarbrick has continued to champion this Bill, and it passed its first reading this year with unanimous support. The Bill, if passed,


Opinion Opinion

will provide funding to political parties and NGOs to help ensure that political participation is more accessible during elections and in Parliament. However, one thing that I have found hard throughout the suffrage celebrations this year is the lack of disabled people represented. I wanted to compile a history of disabled women involved in the suffrage movement. After talking to some of my friends, I began to see a pattern – we were all tired of being left out of the narrative so we had turned to the history books to find that we were missing there too. Today, I celebrate great women such as Kate Sheppard and Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, but I also think about the disabled women who have created change in New Zealand. Women like Dame Ann Ballin, who was a psychologist and victims’ rights advocate, and Robyn Hunt, a previous Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission. These are just a few of the many women I know have pushed for change in New Zealand and that I want to celebrate

today. I also celebrate all the women who haven’t been mentioned in the history books or have not been recognised for the hard work they have done to break down barriers and build a fairer, more united New Zealand. Wishing everyone a happy holiday season.

• Follow Paula on Facebook www.facebook.com/ PaulaTesorieroHRC/ and Twitter @paulatesoriero

You can watch the short film about Mojo Mather’s journey, Hear Me Out, to get the Election Access Fund Bill before Parliament. It is available at www.hearmeoutfilm.org

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Support Parents

Tough journey put to good use Photos: Supplied

By CLARE CHAPMAN Freelance writer

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ust after Yaz Dolbel-Neville reached the 30week milestone in her pregnancy, it became clear things weren’t progressing as expected. It wasn’t until son Glenn was two weeks old that it became clear why. For Yaz, who also had a two-and-half-year-old daughter, Cherisse, when Glenn was born, the situation became more difficult when anxiety became a factor following a traumatic birth. She had undergone a caesarean section, Glenn was taken immediately to NICU where he had to be resuscitated and connected to equipment including a breathing apparatus and feeding tube. Various tests followed, and at two weeks he was diagnosed with a rare but serious condition known as congenital myotonic dystrophy.

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Parent to Parent December 2018

The condition is associated with a range of symptoms, varying in severity from child-to-child. “When they gave me the diagnosis, I had never heard of it before,” Yaz says. “It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest when I think about it now.” Despite the lack of clarity around her memories of this time, Yaz says what she found the most confronting was seeing her son for the first time in an incubator hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment. “Having to leave the hospital and leave my baby there in NICU in his incubator when I was discharged was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Despite Glenn’s start in life, now three-and-a-half, he’s doing incredibly well and is a rambunctious preschooler with a strong sense of humour.


Support Parents

“It’s been a tough journey for us, but I want to take everything I went through, and Glenn went through, and use it in a good way.”

families in similar situations. “Everyone’s journey is different, but you often find there are similarities and common goals, and that’s what I love about being part of Parent to Parent.”

Yaz and Glenn’s story is not unique in that the congenital form of myotonic dystrophy most often comes about when the mother has the adult onset version of the same condition – something Yaz now knows she has, but was not aware of before his birth as her symptoms were so minor.

Yaz has undertaken three Parent to Parent courses and now offers her ear as a support parent for other families. “That connection with others is so important,” she says.

“Having to leave the hospital and leave my baby there in NICU in his incubator . . . was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Despite raising two children, working part-time, and being heavily involved with Parent to Parent, Yaz is also on the committee for the northern chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “I just want to use this situation for good, for Glenn, and for other families.”

Yaz has set up a Facebook page blog to document Glenn’s journey @glennsjourney

A major part of Glenn’s condition is muscle weakness and degeneration, which means he has struggled with mobility and speech, but continues to progress. “At the moment he loves bum shuffling around the house,” Yaz says. “We’re working on weight bearing and shifting too, but he isn’t able to stand because his legs give way. “He’s quickly developing with speech and can put two or three words together. He’s also been using an AAC core board for a year to help him communicate. He can already use it quite well himself to communicate with us. He’s just starting the parroting phase where he tries to copy everything you say too. “I hope one day he will be able to talk normally, and we’re working towards him being able to walk short distances too, but he will always have a wheelchair as a backup as his muscles become fatigued.” Glenn is able to wheel himself around in his wheelchair. “He wears gaitors when he is practising weight bearing and shifting, and a back brace to help keep him straight.” Yaz’s main hope for Glenn, like any parent, is for him to be happy and healthy, and reach his potential. As Yaz supports Glenn, her other aim is to raise awareness about the condition and be a support to other parents and

Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

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Parent to Parent December 2018


People

Anne’s world in artworks By CLARE CHAPMAN Freelance writer

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nne Westerskov, 28, is a Tauranga artist known for her vibrant, colourful designs. She’s been painting since she was at high school and spends the majority of her time finessing her skills. Anne first became interested in art studying at NCEA level. Following Year 12, her education continued at home by correspondence with the help of a tutor who happened to be an artist. “This way of continuing meant things could be very flexible, which suited us, and Anne was able to continue to develop her art,” Anne’s mother Vivienne Thompson says. Anne leads a busy lifestyle. She volunteers two mornings a week at a local kindergarten and two afternoons a week at a local rest home. Despite being involved in a myriad of activities and continuing to take short courses since she finished school, art has been a constant in her adult life. “At her 21st birthday, we decorated the room with her art,” Vivienne says. “One of her cousins said we should do something with it. We pondered for a while what to do, and decided on having her art printed onto cards.” Things developed from there, and Anne became well known in the local community. “She’s got a lot of strong relationships with people of all ages in all different professions,” Vivienne says. “It’s amazing to see the things that have happened from people in the community knowing, or being aware of, Anne.” Those events have included a book being published, The Art of Anne, which features a selection of her art – each piece with a response by a writer from the Tauranga Writers’ Group. Her work has also been sold in stores from Tauranga to Brisbane. Anne regularly attends local markets and has run pop-up stores around town, as well as a stall at the annual book fair in Tauranga. Her work is a vibrant mix of colourful, almost abstract interpretations from castles to cats, and everything in between. Using mixed media, but especially pastel and paint, her work is descriptive yet strikingly simplistic in its beauty.

Together, her works offer a hauntingly beautiful vision of Anne’s world. According to her father Kim Westerskov, Anne's art is uniquely Anne. “It is an expression of Anne herself, what she is, what she feels, and how she sees the world. Anne, the positive, loving person, creates art that is positive and has much love in it. And colour, vibrancy, boldness, and light. Much of Anne’s art makes me smile, and my day seems brighter. Other people react similarly.” Her work has been described by various people as cheerful, joyful, happy, whimsical, carefree, feel-good, a joy to look at, and 'reflecting the artist’s own engaging and vibrant character'. Kim, a big fan , agrees. “Painting is my passion. I feel quite proud,” Anne says. “I like painting everything and I like all the colours.” Painting is her way to relax; she’s always got a box of art supplies wherever she goes, and if she has a big day or needs some downtime, the art supplies come out and she’s able to relax by creating. “I’m inspired from images on the computer or I just see them in my head,” she says. Vivienne and Anne have attended many conferences and events with Parent to Parent, and just as Anne’s strong relationships in her community are vital to her and pave the way for opportunity, Vivienne feels the same about Parent to Parent as an organisation. “The philosophy of Parent to Parent is the most useful thing,” Vivienne says. “Knowing that parents are there to support other parents is really important. It’s about those relationships, having access to publications, and the contacts you make.” Anne would like to say thank you to her parents, Vivienne and Kim, as well as her art tutors and Pauline Goodwin. Her art is for sale at artbyanne.co.nz

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Opinion

Feedback vital for

positive future

By Hon CARMEL SEPULONI Minister for Social Development, Minister for Disability Issues, Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Mālō e lelei, Tēnā koutou, Talofa Lava, Bula Bula, Ni Hao and welcome.

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s I prepare to spend time with my family over the Christmas holidays, I’m looking forward to taking the time to pause and reflect on the year that’s been and what 2019 will bring us.

That’s why I’m proud of the Government’s recent announcement to fund 600 specialist learning support coordinators to help children with high and moderate needs with their learning.

As a mother I want the very best for my children. That sentiment extends beyond my own children to New Zealand kids across the motu.

The learning support coordinators will be in New Zealand schools by the start of 2020.

I’ve met many disabled people, their families and whānau over the past year while travelling the country. I see and hear first-hand the real challenges that parents face on a daily basis, and I’m very aware that the role I’m in provides me with an opportunity to make a difference. I’ve heard about their experiences and thoughts on what needs to be prioritised for disabled people, key themes have come through that highlight changes needed across all sectors. These themes include accessible transport, the lack of opportunities for respite care, employment, improving attitudes, the costs of disability, and accessible and affordable housing. But one of the most common complaints from parents with school-aged children with disabilities/additional learning needs, is that they need more in-learning support.

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Parent to Parent December 2018

The key feedback themes we’ve received from communities we’ve visited will be used in the new Disability Action Plan 2019-2022, a four-year plan for implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026. We’re also making sure we’re accountable and measuring the success of the work we undertake as part of the Disability Action Plan. We’ve worked with disabled people to develop draft indicators to make sure we’re making meaningful progress towards implementing the Disability Strategy. In my meetings with disabled people, issues about accessibility have come up frequently. Accessibility in all its forms is being identified as a key issue that allows progress on many other issues and achieves a non-disabling society. There has been a call for legislation on accessibility similar to some other countries. I am currently considering options in this regard.


Opinion

As a mother I want the very best for my children. That sentiment extends beyond my own children to New Zealand kids across the motu.

In 2019, the Office for Disability Issues will continue consulting about the actions for the new Disability Action Plan and I urge you all to have your say. You can do this faceto-face in a workshop, online, over the phone, or send in a video submission. They would love to hear what you think the priorities are for actions to direct government agencies. Make sure you have your say at www.odi.govt.nz

The positive direction ahead of us is a result of New Zealand’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016–2026, and the development of the next Disability Action Plan 2019–2022. We need to maintain that momentum. What really makes a difference to this vital work, is the people who give their time, their ideas and take part. My thanks go to all those people who get involved, make their voices heard and support us to make improvements for the future. Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and a joyous New Year. Kilisimasi Fiefia, Meri Kirihimete, Manuia le Kerisimasi, Marau na Kerisimasi, Sheng Dan Kuai Le and Merry Christmas!

manawanui Need support in your home or community? Want to choose where, when and who delivers that support? With Individualised Funding, you’re in control Live your life, your way, with Manawanui

www.manawanui.org.nz 0508 462 427

Parent to Parent December 2018

info@manawanui.org.nz

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News

Flexible Respite Budgets – I Choose

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n 2017 the Ministry of Health (MoH) Disability Support Services (DSS) released a Respite Strategy. In the strategy the MoH made a commitment to implementing Flexible Respite Budgets for families. Flexible respite budgets – or I Choose – will replace Carer Support for most people. The changes are in response to many complaints about Carer Support, and access to other types of respite across the country. DSS has almost 19,000 clients accessing Carer Support and for many it is the only type of disability support they receive. Most get $5000 or less Carer Support a year. What do the changes mean for families? • • • • • • • •

I Choose will make it easier for people to have a break. A once or twice a year cash payment into a bank account. Can use the money to buy any respite support they like. No Carer Support claim forms. People can work when using I Choose. Not restricted to half or full day. Carer and relief carer agree rate of payment. People will get I Choose near their review/reassessment date during 2019.

People who would usually have been allocated Carer Support will be allocated I Choose instead. Needs Assessment and Support Coordination (NASC) services and the MoH will work together to transition people from Carer Support to I Choose. I Choose process overview: • •

• • •

Carers will get I Choose instead of Carer Support How much I Choose allocates depends on disabilityrelated need, age of client, family situation, other supports and how much Carer Support they use now Carer needs to sign a payment form (accept terms and conditions and give bank account details) The Ministry will do an eligibility check Once all complete, the MoH will make the payment.

I Choose carer responsibilities: 1.

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Only use the money for having a break Parent to Parent December 2018

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Make money last and buy quality supports Use a separate bank account Record how the money has been spent Tell NASC about changes in circumstances Refund money with I Choose stopping if money is used for something other than having a break. Purchasing guidelines – what people can buy It (the support) helps people live their life or makes their life better. It is a disability support. It is reasonable and cost-effective. It is not subject to a limit or exclusion: 1. 2. 3.

Not illegal, gambling, alcohol Not parents, spouse, family members living with disabled person Not if other funding is available.

FAQs Income, income tax and GST: I Choose paid to DP and whānau • • •

Won’t be counted as income for benefit eligibility Don’t have to pay income tax on I Choose received Have to pay GST if they use I Choose to buy a good or service Money paid to relief carers •

They have to pay income tax on what they earn as a carer (some exceptions) • If they are an ‘employee’ their tax will be deducted by the family (PAYE) • If they are a contractor or have a casual arrangement, they pay their own tax. Will it impact the carer’s Winz benefit? • •

I Choose is a disability support, not income. It won’t be counted when Winz assesses eligibility for a main benefit or supplementary or hardship assistance. The MSD notes for case workers have been updated so they know that I Choose is a disability support, not income.


If relief carers are on benefits, and have been paid with I Choose, they need to tell Winz that they have earned some money.

How much to pay people? • • • • • •

With I Choose the carer and relief carer can agree a rate to be compensated. Can continue to offer same rate as Carer Support. Can give reimbursement for expenses (petrol, food, etc). Rates should be ‘reasonable and cost-effective’ (value for money, don’t get ripped off). If the relief carer is employed they should be paid at least minimum wage and ACC levy, holiday pay, etc. Can use independent contractor, and they pay own tax, etc.

Who can people pay? People cannot pay or compensate: • • •

Family members who are living with the disabled person The disabled person’s parent, step-parent, spouse or partner Relief carers who are under 14 years old.

They can pay or compensate non-family relief carers who live at the same address as the disabled person, such as an au pair or flatmate. What about families with two or more disabled people in their whānau? • • •

Each person with a disability will have a needs assessment and be allocated I Choose as appropriate. The family can use the same ‘separate’ bank account for each I Choose payment (don’t need two new accounts). The carer can use I Choose for a respite option for one person while they spend time with the other person.

What about shared custody? • • • •

Both carers (parents) can use I Choose. Ideally, they will share it between themselves. Can have a budget holder if needed. Both need to keep a record of how they have used the money.

I Choose will start in 2019. Hopefully this will see the end of families’ frustration with Carer Support – from the forms, getting the forms back when there’s a mistake, and not being able to work or pay a family member, waiting to be reimbursed and the low rates of the subsidy. We know taking a break is important and it seems that I Choose will make it easier for families to do that.

Keeping Kiwi kids safe at home.

Coming to a Bunnings near you | March 2019

T

he concept for Parent to Parent’s SafeSquares springs from Kiwi grassroots, where farms had designated safe spots for kids to stand when there were tractors, vehicles, bikes, machinery operating nearby, or stock passing. We’ve adapted it for urban kids too – particularly in light of toddlers tragically run over in their own driveways. It’s also useful for older kids who are neurodiverse or have a disability, when the driveway gate is open, people walk past with dogs, or even as an evacuation point to head to if there’s an emergency inside. Bunnings stores up and down the country will be hosting SafeSquares Day on Sunday, March 3, 2019 in partnership with Parent to Parent NZ. Come along, paint a paver, and place it in a spot at home where kids can hang out, play and stay safe. Keep an eye on our eNews and Facebook page for locations of participating stores as SafeSquares Day approaches!

SafeSquares Day

Sunday March 3, 2019 (Children’s Day NZ)

www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/ disability-services/types-disability-support/respite/ichoose

Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

Jack's rural retreat By MONICA HOLT Freelance writer

G

iant oak trees provide a natural canopy for The Cow Shed at the gateway to a magnificent rural lifestyle property on Houchens Rd in Glenview, Hamilton. What lies beneath is an interactive garden offering surprises at every turn. To a first-time visitor, it feels like a cross between a farm park and an outdoor art gallery. Wheelchair-friendly pathways take visitors on a journey through the property. There are alpacas, lambs and a hen house. “The kids pick up eggs, and we have egg cartons here for them to take them home. It is all part of the sensory experience; they can pick lemons and flowers to take home,” says owner Joanne Putney.

There are constant visitors to The Cow Shed, including individual clients and their carers, children from Oranga Tamariki, nannies with children and preschool groups. It is also the part-time residence for Joanne’s son Jack, 21, who was born with a recessive genetic condition, Smith Lemli-Opitz syndrome, and has high needs. He stays there two to three nights a week when he is not in the family home up a gravel driveway with his parents, Joanne and Mike, a paramedic. Mike is a handy builder so much of what you see has been made by him.

“It is built for Jack, it is a secure place, but it is more than that . . . it encompasses everyone."

She yells out to the pigs – Ziggy and Donald – who come scuttling over for a pat. “It is really cool for kids with disabilities to be in close contact with the animals.” Around the next bend is quirky outdoor garden art – replica reptiles in the ‘crocodile swamp’ with pop-up fountains. There is a patch of brightly coloured ceramic flowers, giant wind chimes, and drums made from pipes sourced from the local council and painted bright colours. A giant rabbit enclosure has wheelchair access for people to get up close to the animals. There are also extensive vegetable planter boxes and flower beds. It is a truly sensory experience and has been designed with much care and thought.

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All pathways lead back to The Cow Shed, a fenced renovated old milking shed which has been converted to a onebedroom fully contained unit. It is a small family care and respite centre for people with disabilities and their carers.

Parent to Parent December 2018

As a teenager Jack refused to go to school and would selfharm and be aggressive. The family decided to create an at-home care facility. A month before Christmas, The Cow Shed was decked out in a sea of red – Santa ornaments, Christmas trees, and tinsel. The theme changes regularly to provide new and interesting sensory experiences for visitors. An old piano has been painted blue and a keyboard fitted into it for Jack to use. A sofa has a swag of brightly coloured cushions. Some of Jack’s favourite things are to sit in a cocoon swing hanging from a tree; and lie on the in-ground trampoline. The Cow Shed has been Jack’s primary care facility since school no longer suited his needs.


People

Jack with carer Deborah Nelson and mum Joanne Pudney. Photo: MONICA HOLT

“It is built for Jack, it is a secure place, but it is more than that, we have Jack and all the visitors … it encompasses everyone,” says Joanne. “It is a lifestyle of sustainability – that is what we are looking at.” His bedroom is set up like home. It has a hospital bed and minimalistic décor. Deborah Nelson, one of Jack’s carers and responsible for his day-to-day needs, says: “Jack thrives on routine. He has everything mapped out for the week.” On Mondays he goes on a long bike ride with a neighbour on a motorised bicycle funded by Enabling Good Lives. “That is his excursion out into the community, he is safe and he is sitting side-by-side with someone familiar,” says Joanne. He goes on a two-hour bike ride around Hamilton’s extensive river pathways – and loves it. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for swimming at Hamilton’s hydrotherapy pool; and Friday is the day for visitors. Deborah says Jack needs routine, “so that is one of the top things we try to provide for him. As long as he knows exactly what is happening, he will stay calm. As soon as you change the routine, he gets very anxious. “Jack’s syndrome means he is stuck at age one-and-a-half to two, and he can’t progress through that. His symptoms are similar to autism whereby everything is highly sensory, and

things come too much for him.” Jack loves showing around visitors. He also likes playing back tunes on the keyboard and watching You Tube clips on his iPad. The visitors provide Jack with socialisation. “It is Jack’s place but he has trouble going out into the community. So the community comes to him.” It is a Thursday – swimming day. Jack mimes swimming actions, and knows it is time to go.

Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

The voice behind

Soar

I

nvercargill local Jack Lovett-Hurst, 21, is the voice behind Soar With Jack Radio Show, which airs every Wednesday on 96.4FM Southland at 6.45pm. Soar is a programme which aims to grow awareness, knowledge and understanding of working alongside whānau with disabilities, and the service options they need to live full, enriched lives. History and whānau: I was born in Christchurch, have muscular dystrophy, and have been in a wheelchair since I was two years old; I’ve had about 35 operations on all different parts of my body. I live in Invercargill with my stepdad Greg, my mum Debbie, and my dog Spencer. You can do a lot of stuff in Invercargill, for example, go watch the Stags play rugby at Stadium Southland, and there are lots of eating places and the Truck Museum. What are your interests? Watching sport on TV, hanging out with my family and friends, and meeting people. I go to the gym on my hand cycle, athletics, and wheelchair basketball. How would you describe yourself? Caring, loving, helpful, outgoing, polite – would do anything for anyone. What are your aspirations? I have done a lot of stuff in my life, for example, last year I did the New York Marathon with my stepdad Greg and mum Debbie; Greg and I have done a lot of half marathons here in Invercargill. I aspire to compete in lots more marathons!

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Parent to Parent December 2018

You did the New York Marathon? Tell us about that! So last year we did the New York Marathon; there were about 50,000 people and only 20,000 finished. It was the trip of a lifetime, because for me and Greg it was the first time we had ever done a full marathon. There were people everywhere yelling and cheering us on. Because I had my name on the top of my bike, every time we went past someone they were saying “Go Jack, you can do it!”. It was very emotional and humbling – all the support we received. How did you get into radio? At school, when I was about year 10 or 11, I was very passionate about sport, which was a well-known fact. This led to me being asked if I would start my own radio show on Radio Southland called Jack’s Knowledge of Sport. Who started Soar? Earlier this year, in a co-design approach with the Local Area Accessibility Service (local area coordinator Jenny Hogg) NKMP developed Soar (Securing Our Aspirational Realities). Soar has been designed to enable us to better understand and grow our agency knowledge around working alongside whānau with disabilities to appreciate more fully the service options and needs they have. I was hired to lead this work! I work in three key areas: A Soar Facebook page, a weekly radio show and the facilitation of whānau hui for 16 to 25-year-olds living with a disability and/or their whānau to discuss service requirements. It is the intention that Soar will be a current voice on


People

. . . it was cool because I’d never interviewed mum before, and it gave me further insight into how she coped raising a child with a disability. My mother is such a strong woman, and I love her very much.

disability in Southland and will provide NKMP with new awareness/learning that leads to innovative ways of designing and rolling out our services – services the whole whānau can use. Throughout my weekly radio show I interview people who have a disability as well as organisations that look after those with a disability. My first re-branded show aired on the 25th of April this year. I always interview in the studio – when I did Jack’s Knowledge of Sport I used to interview over the phone sometimes, but not anymore. How many podcasts are there now? 29 Soar podcasts. What was your most memorable show? Interviewing my mum – it was cool because I’d never interviewed mum before, and it gave me further insight into how she coped raising a child with a disability. My mother is such a strong woman, and I love her very much. Who would you most like to interview? The Minister for Disability Issues Hon Carmel Sepuloni, and my idol Richie McCaw.

To contact Jack visit www.facebook.com/ SecuringOurAspirationalRealities

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu (NKMP) is a not-for-profit Charitable Trust based in Invercargill that delivers a range of health and social services including disability support and advocacy, addictions counselling, restorative justice, whānau ora and more.

Who’s your biggest fan? Probably mum! Who has inspired you, and why? My mum and stepdad, because they have both done a lot of stuff for me, and my friend William who suffers from a disability called Asperger’s and has had a hard life; I’m very proud of him because he hasn’t let it get in the way of anything he wants to do.

Parent to Parent December 2018

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People

A voice for disability in Southland By NICCI MCDOUGALL Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu

N

ga Kete Matauranga Pounamu is a not-forprofit Charitable Trust based in Invercargill, delivering a range of health and social services which include disability support and advocacy – and a new initiative named Soar (Securing Our Aspirational Realities).

discuss service requirements. It is the intention Soar will be a current voice on disability in Southland, and provide NKMP with new awareness/learning that leads to innovative ways of designing and rolling out our services – services the whole whānau can use.

Jack has since organised and facilitated meetings which included a workshop on barriers to employment, challenges Here at NKMP we aspire to extend services the whole and successes, what acceptance and belonging means, and whānau can access, and this requires us to be aware of how employers can better whānau needs and what is support employees who have important to whānau, e.g, a disability. The collective service type, range, access, Soar will be a current voice information gathered at this engagement and satisfaction. hui is being published in a on disability in Southland, handout for employers. Earlier this year, in a co-design approach with the Local Area Accessibility Service (local area coordinator Jenny Hogg), NKMP developed Soar.

and provide NKMP with new

Working alongside Jack is our extraordinary disability kaiawhina Sandra Stiles, out our services – services the pictured with Jack, who whole whānau can use. supports people with It has been designed to enable disabilities and offers us to better understand and information, advocacy and grow our agency knowledge advice, and creates tailored around working alongside plans to meet the client’s desired outcomes. whānau with disabilities, to appreciate more fully the service

awareness/learning... rolling

options and needs they have. Jack Lovett-Hurst has come on board to lead this work. He is working in three key areas: A Soar Facebook page, a weekly radio show, and the facilitation of whānau hui for 16 to 25-year-olds living with a disability and/or their whānau to

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Parent to Parent December 2018

Sandra says her role is rewarding and she enjoys supporting people and being able to help. “I enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face.” www.kaitahu.maori.nz


People

ADHD makes me mentally faster By ARAN SEĀN ZIEGLER 14-year-old writer

I

don’t like it when people call ADHD a mental illness. ADHD isn’t simply just bad, and it definitely isn’t just good: ADHD makes you faster. I mean like mentally faster. Although ADHD also ties in physically with reflexes, I tend to get easily distracted, but I am also able to understand things and solve riddles faster than others. The problem is when something’s boring, it’s really boring! So when I do something tedious, I tend to get distracted, but when I’m interested in something, I do it really well. I can make boring things feel less so by taking regular breaks. I also keep things interesting, like when I write a story, I include new characters, places, twists and things like that. If I’m really passionate about learning or practising something, then it’s usually pretty distraction-free, but even then it can feel less enjoyable and exciting after a while. Speaking of writing, my favourite class/subject is English. I often write stories and as I stated before, I really like doing that. I feel as if Albany Junior High School has really helped me. I know I wouldn’t have the chances and opportunities (like writing this article) if it wasn’t for this school, but I guess it’s mainly the people who have believed in me. Not just in this school, but my whole life. Many come to mind, but I’ll write about these three people because they had a huge impact on me and my life – their stories happened a while ago, so it feels as if they are complete. A student in the first school I went to was Ariana (I don’t know her last name, besides I wouldn’t put it down anyway). I think she was probably the first true friend I ever had – at

least school-wise. It felt as if she could see right through me and always knew how I felt – she actually understood me. From what I can remember, she always included me and helped me out. She truly was a friend. The second was Kath, a teacher at Wairau Valley Special School. She was the kind of teacher I needed; strict, kind, and had a good sense of humour. She definitely looked out for me. The third was my friend Byron. He was in the same school and class, and our friendship meant very much. Neither Ariana or Byron were what I would call best friends, looking back, but they definitely helped me a lot – so did Kath, obviously. When I think about it, so many people have helped me, I question how many people I have helped. I’ve made so many mistakes and let down so many people. I wonder if it was worth it for them. I already have a lot of regrets, which I think is funny as I’m only 14. A problem I still have is helping people. This might sound dumb, but it really isn’t. Like recently, two people fought and I tried to resolve it, but I just made it worse. It cost me a friendship. Getting back on track – and needing to wrap this up – ADHD definitely makes my life difficult, but I think the label does this more than ADHD itself. The truth of my ADHD is not acting (as some would like to believe); it is real, but doesn’t really affect you mentally. It doesn’t make you antisocial or anything. It just makes you think and act faster, making things boring when I struggle doing something, when I’ve been working on something for too long, and when it’s too easy or slow. At the end of the day, I’m more than happy to have ADHD.

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Opinion

Learning to play – instrumental music for everyone As the year draws to a close, school students across the country are saying goodbye to their school buddies and considering the 2019 school year. One of the many decisions parents and students may make is whether they join their school’s instrumental music programme. The idea of participating in instrumental music can seem daunting if your child has a disability, but music can provide many social, physical and intellectual benefits. Dr ANTHEA SKINNER discusses some considerations when deciding on instrumental music lessons for your child.

T

o outsiders, school bands can look intimidating. Rows of neatly-dressed students, sitting still, working together, playing expensive, complex-looking musical instruments. For a parent of a child with a disability, it might seem impossible to think your child could ever participate in a mainstream music programme. However, many children with a range of disabilities successfully participate in bands and orchestras across the country and the benefits can be enormous.

Workload One concern parents express is the extra workload. Starting a new school can be an overwhelming experience for parents

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Parent to Parent December 2018

and students alike, as they get used to new teachers, new travel arrangements and increased levels of homework. The thought of adding trumpet practise to the list can seem like a step too far. However, many students find practising a welcome distraction from homework. Parental attitudes can have a huge impact on the way a student approaches practise. Playing music should be fun, but forcing kids to do a set amount of practise every day can turn it into a chore. Ask your child to play for you and your family, if you play an instrument yourself you can even join in. As a child I loved forming impromptu ‘bands’ with my brother and sister. The timing of school music lessons can also be problematic. Some schools require students to miss regular lessons to


Opinion

participate, which can be difficult if your child is already struggling academically; other schools have after-school lessons, which can clash with therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments and other commitments. If you have any concern about the workload or expectations of your school’s instrumental music programme, have a chat with your school’s music coordinator.

Choosing an instrument If you’re not a musician yourself, choosing between different musical instruments can be complex. Different instruments suit people with different physiques and personalities. For example, percussion is a great choice for a child who struggles to sit still – it allows them to move around during rehearsals, and there are always new things to try. Lower-pitched instruments like tubas, bass guitars and double basses are large and need someone big enough to lift and play them, but in bands and orchestras they often play simple, logical (but extremely important) parts, perfect for someone who may not have the dexterity for fast, complex passages. Brass instruments are great for kids with the use of only one hand, or missing fingers. Piano and most percussion instruments don’t require a good sense of intonation (tuning), making them great for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Instruments like flutes and clarinets usually get to play melodies, making them fun and interesting – and schools often have lots of them, meaning players can either blend in with the group if they’re shy, or take solo positions if they feel confident. One thing to remember about musical instruments is that the more complex they look, the easier they usually are to play. A clarinet, with all those silver keys, looks far more complex than a simple recorder. However, those keys are there to make the musician’s life easier, so that fingerings on clarinet are often far simpler than those on a recorder. A piano is probably the most mechanically complex instrument there is, and yet anyone can make a note on it just by pressing a key. In contrast, to play a note on the French horn the musician must first hear the note in their head, then coordinate fingers, lips and breath control to produce that note. Don’t be fooled by a complex-looking instrument … it’s probably easier to play than you think.

There are lots of different ways to play instruments, and it may be possible to modify either your child’s playing style or the instrument itself to suit their needs. When choosing an instrument with your child it is important to talk to their music teacher. If you still have trouble finding an instrument it might be worthwhile talking to a music therapist to help you adapt instruments or playing techniques, or even suggest non-traditional adaptive instruments that could be included in a mainstream band programme. Most importantly, be sure to include your child in any decision-making. There’s no point buying an instrument they are not interested in playing, no matter how accessible it is.

Social and educational benefits There have been many studies outlining the benefit of music for children. It improves language acquisition, literacy and mathematics, as well as broader life skills like teamwork, selfmanaging behaviour, and concentration. To me, one of the biggest benefits of being part of a school band or orchestra programme is social. It is very much like a sporting team, with everyone working together towards a single goal. Unlike sporting teams, however, music is not (usually) performed in a competitive environment, there are no losers – everybody wins. This can take pressure off children who may be concerned about ‘letting the team down’. Just as in sporting teams, band members often form strong bonds, and stay together as a group throughout their schooling. Music programmes also often attract students who are inclusive and caring, and peer-to-peer teaching is a strong tradition among musicians. It’s not uncommon for children with disabilities to build strong friendship groups and form their own bands and ensembles among friends.

Other options Not all children with disabilities will be able to participate fully in mainstream music programmes. It may be worth looking out for all-abilities programmes run by music therapists, local councils, accessible arts groups, or even talking to your school’s music teacher and integration aides about forming an in-school special needs music group. Listening to and appreciating music is just as important as playing it. Music really is an activity that everyone can participate in and enjoy, regardless of their disability.

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Services

Charity brings children and dogs together Auckland students gain joy, confidence and so much more from DOG-abled NZ’s four-legged volunteers. By CHRISTINE NEFF DOG-abled NZ volunteer

A

best friend. A constant companion. Dogs bring joy and love to nearly a million families all over New Zealand, and in some special situations they do even more than that. Volunteers with DOG-abled NZ have seen dogs bring a socially anxious child out of their shell, allowing them to use their voice to confidently give commands. Young siblings from difficult family circumstances have grown closer with the help of a canine companion. Students once hindered by anxiety have gained the confidence to read aloud after practising their skills on a non-judgmental dog.

meets one-on-one with small groups of children in a handful of Auckland schools. Scroll through the organisation’s Facebook page and you’ll see photos of Django rolling in the sandbox, listening attentively to a student’s maths lesson or while a young girl reads aloud from a joke book. The DOG-abled dogs seem to enjoy school as much as Mary’s Little Lamb. And, unlike the nursery rhyme, educators welcome them.

“Dogs are amazing animals,” says Heather Laanbroek, who founded DOG-abled NZ, a registered children’s charity based in West Auckland. “I’m always amazed by the changes I see in the children we work with.” DOG-abled NZ is a small organisation of 14 human volunteers and 12 four-legged ones. The dedicated group works to provide safe dog experiences for children with physical, emotional, behavioural and intellectual challenges or vulnerabilities. Several times a week, Laanbroek, accompanied by her trusty mastiff cross Dyson, or her sweet black labrador Django,

Heather Laanbroek. Photo: Victoria Logan of Stellanova Photography

WE PROVIDE MEMBERS WITH ACCESS TO: • • • • •

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Parent to Parent December 2018

Physical and emotional support Experience, knowledge and expertise Financial contributions Neuro-developmental Therapy Programs Resources and equipment


Services

Jake hangs out with dog Dyson. Photo: Supplied

“What I liked about DOG-abled NZ’s approach right from the beginning is that the organisation took time to educate all children in our school about how to safely interact with dogs to make sure it was a safe environment,” says Liz Manley, principal of Woodlands Park School in the Waitakere Ranges. Woodlands Park began working with the programme earlier this year, selecting several children with additional learning needs to participate. “With Heather, we looked at individual children and decided on a very targeted outcome for what that child could gain by working with the dogs. The activities they do all depend on the needs of that child,” says Manley. Those activities might include reading to a dog, helping to walk the dog, give commands or train tricks. One child, says Manley, played soccer with Django. Another used her relationship with the dog to gain confidence interacting with other children – the friendly dog became a sort of icebreaker to help her communicate and connect with new friends. “Right from the beginning, we could visibly see the impact on the children,” Manley says. That positive impact goes beyond the small group of children interacting directly with the DOG-abled Time with Tails programme. It’s an exciting day for everyone at Woodlands Park when Django or one of his friends come to school, says Manley.

“The children love it. They’re very respectful of the fact that the dogs have come into school to do a job. And I’m very proud of our children for that,” she says. DOG-abled NZ launched in 2016, an offshoot of BARK NZ, a children’s charity that promotes dog safety education in schools. In addition to student sessions, DOG-abled NZ also provides Dogs Without Fear, a programme to help children and families overcome an abnormal fear of dogs, and library visits in which community children can interact safely and positively with the dogs. That goal of ‘positive interaction’ is especially important to the organisation’s leadership. Volunteers undergo training and attend workshops. Dogs are specifically trained and independently assessed. It’s a full commitment to volunteer for DOG-abled, but this ensures they provide the safest and highest quality animal-assisted education experience, a goal that’s paramount to the organisation. “We’re very proud of the work we do for Auckland children, and we hope to continue growing this programme to help even more” says Laanbroek. “We know our dogs have more love to give.” Learn more about DOG-abled NZ by checking out www. facebook.com/dogablednz. If you know of a child who could benefit from the programme, reach out to Heather at heather@dogabled.org.nz.

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Services

Dogs help wellbeing of ‘little people’ By HEATHER COLLINS Teacher, assistant principal and special educational needs co-ordinator Glen Innes School

M

y ‘little-people’ at Glen Innes School, face huge challenges every day in many guises – academically, socially, mentally and emotionally – because of the weighty baggage they carry at such a young age. Our journey with DOG-abled has facilitated: •

An emotional change in a junior school student who carried vast anger issues due to domestic violence – by using the unconditional love of a little dog called Scruffy.

Lifted the mental wellbeing of a middle school student who was clinically depressed and had such low selfesteem they were in the process of being detained under the Mental Health Act – by letting them teach Gracey (a new DOG-abled recruit), rather than learn.

Strengthened a sibling relationship between two students, who now empower each other rather than seek to destroy their bond – through having fun and playing together with Django.

Turned on a light into a darkened room of autism – by removing all language barriers and only speaking DOG.

Enabled a middle school student to breathe, smile and believe that they are valued as they walk tall around the school grounds with Dyson, long lead in hand, striding across the field.

Encouraged and grew the confidence of a volatile and lonely senior school student – by teaching an old dog new tricks and showing that getting it wrong sometimes is the right thing to do.

The engagement and focus of the students who have participated in the DOG-abled programme at Glen Innes School is phenomenal in comparison to the conventional offerings of a typical educational setting. It is the only one which has enabled all of my students to transfer the skills they have been taught using the medium of DOG-abled, back into the classroom and beyond. Without the confinements of the classroom, and with the onus on personal accountability, my staff and I have seen the weights these children carry disappear, and in such they are free to be themselves while succeeding in their learning without conforming to a prescribed norm. DOG-abled has genuinely made a difference to my children, removed all barriers to their learning at school, and empowered them to be the best that they can be.

Meet Django Django is one of DOG-abled NZ’s busiest volunteers. This sweet and loving labrador was rescued from the pound as a young pup in 2013. He’s now a happy member of Heather Laanbroek’s family. His favourite things are long walks in the bush, doing tricks, eating (of course, he’s a labrador after all!) and listening to children read him stories.

Adia admires Django's focus while he performs tricks at a school visit. Photo: Victoria Logan of Stellanova Photography

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Parent to Parent December 2018


News

Frames for active growing children Nano vista kids and teens eyewear • 2 in 1 eyewear for school and play

• Fun and lightweight to wear

• Tough and flexible for all sports

• Fun colours including glow temple models.

• No screws and adjustable to fit just right For more information or an appointment see: Martin and Lobb Eyecare Invercargill 03 218 9621 martinandlobb.co.nz

Visique Whakatane 07 308 8487 facebook.com/whaktanevisique

Stratford Optometrists Stratford 06 765 7764 stratfordoptometrists.co.nz

Nicholls and Associates Browns Bay Auckland 09 479 2316 nichollsoptical.co.nz

Papakura Eyecare Papakura Auckland 09 298 2898 papakuraeyecare.co.nz

Sercombe & Matheson Opticians Wellington 04 472 4261 opticians.co.nz

Rolleston Eye Rolleston Christchurch 03 347 1667 rollestoneye.co.nz

Visique Rototuna Hamilton 07 852 5625 facebook.com/ rototuna-optometrists611506688977880

Lincoln Eye Lincoln Christchurch 03 325 7267 lincolneye.co.nz

Nano Vista NZ

For more information 07 307 2410

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Health & wellbeing

Being kind to your mind By SUE PAIRAUDEAU

H

ave you ever driven somewhere oblivious to the entire journey? Perhaps someone was talking to you and all you heard was “blabla-bla”? Or your thoughts flick from one niggle to another?

Creating a ‘to do’ list

Ruminating on fears, real and imaginary

A stuck re-run of what you want to say to someone

These are examples of mindlessness, often called autopilot. We should all be familiar with it – according to the study results of Harvard researcher Matt Killingsworth, PhD, the average person is on autopilot 47% of the time.

Getting easily distracted off task

Recalling hurtful things from the past

Judging the present

Creating catastrophic ‘what-if’ scenarios of the

When Killingsworth created an app in attempts to answer the question “what makes us happy?”, the results showed we’re happiest when we’re mindful of the moment, and least happy when our mind wanders. Why? A mind with no purpose is automatically attracted to the negative. Autopilot is also referred to as ‘monkey mind’ – jumping around and chattering non-stop, eg:

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future. It’s impossible to enjoy the moment (or sleep) with a barrel of monkeys screeching in your head. It’s also stressful, which affects every other aspect of life. Letting our uncontrolled thoughts rule our life is existing rather than living.


Health & wellbeing

Dr Mihaly Chentmihalyi, leading authority on positive psychology, studied happiness extensively in the 1960s and came up with the same results. He called the peak state of human beings ‘flow’. This is a sense of vibrant aliveness where your movements are precise and senses heightened. You are in zone, at peace, with mind and body attuned, and this can be applied to anything we do. Sport and most physical/creative activities requiring focus can give us the same state, as can anything where the mind is momentarily absorbed in a practice that makes exterior distractions irrelevant. So we already have the capacity to be present and mindful, but the new age spiritual hippy connotations were a likely turn-off for everyone else. Now mindfulness is backed by scientific research and clinical evidence, and pre-schoolers to teens learn to use it in classrooms the world over as a life skill. MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of practicing mindfulness, the brain's ‘fight or flight’ centre, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body's response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker. The functional connectivity between these regions (how often they are activated together) also changes. The connection between the amygdala and the rest of the brain gets weaker, while the connections between areas associated with attention and concentration get stronger. When we practice mindfulness, we send the message to our brain that we are more effective at dealing with everyday tasks when we are aware, observant, non-reactive, and nonjudgmental. This causes our brain to make changes that will improve our ability to function mindfully (neuroplasticity). Scientifically proven benefits for our health, happiness, work and relationships, include reduced stress, enhanced performance, gaining insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increasing our attention to others’ wellbeing. •

Higher brain functioning

Increased immune function

Lowered blood pressure

Lowered heart rate

Increased awareness

Increased attention and focus

Increased clarity in thinking and perception

Lowered stress and anxiety levels

Experience of being calm and internally still

Experience of feeling connected

I’m suggesting mindfulness for parents in this issue (next issue, kids) because you’ll need to practise what you preach before you introduce it to them; the old adage “those who cannot do, teach” does not apply here! How do you cultivate mindfulness? One way is to meditate, and a basic method is to focus on your breathing – a practice called ‘mindful breathing’. Meditating trains your mind to be still so you regain control over your thoughts, and this builds resilience that kicks in during stress. Ten to 20 minutes every day in one sitting (or several) is achievable – but it does have to be regular!

Mindful breathing F Sitting posture 1.

Sit on something solid and get your legs comfortable. If you’re on a chair, the soles of your feet should touch the floor; if you’re on the floor a cushion may help.

2. Straighten your upper body so your neck and head rest above your vertebrae, and let your shoulders drop. 3. Then drop your arms parallel to your body, and rest your hands lightly on your legs. 4. Drop your chin gently and let your gaze fall downward. It’s not necessary to close your eyes, but don’t focus on anything in your vision. 5. Stay for a few moments to acknowledge where you are and how it feels, and that you have just given yourself precious time. This is the position you come back to if you have to get up to attend to other things. With practise you’ll be assuming this position without thinking.

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Health & wellbeing

F Breathing 1.

Comfortable in sitting posture, start to observe each breath as it flows in and out without trying to adjust it – focus on the rise and fall of your chest, or the temperature of the air passing through your nostrils.

2. When stressed it might help to start with a deep inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds), hold your breath (2 seconds), and long exhale through your mouth (4 seconds). 3. When the mind wanders you may not notice

immediately. Whether it’s for a few seconds, a minute or five minutes, don’t give it any thought or judge the content of what you were thinking about. Just say “wandering” or “peace” in a soft voice, and gently redirect your attention back to your breathing. This going away and coming back is quite usual. 4. Wrapping your session up. Whether it’s been five minutes or 25 minutes, make the decision to open your eyes while still observing your breathing, not during a mind wander.

Like anything else, with practise it becomes easier and results accrue. Once you start doing this on a regular basis, you’ll notice you begin to see things more clearly – and see much more than you did before!

Google can’t give you what we can OUR FRIENDLY, PROFESSIONAL librarian is here to support you and your family. She will find the best and most knowledgeable answers to your disability related questions from over 25,000 resources held by the CCS Disability Action Library & Information Service. Subjects relate to parenting, language, toileting, puberty, behaviour, education, access and buildings and much more. Our library contains books, DVDs, journals, articles and e-books all of which are available to you completely free of charge. To see our newest additions, sign up to What’s New in the Library?

Get in touch

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http://ccsdisabilityaction.softlinkhosting.co.nz/liberty/libraryHome.do 0800 227 200 (ask for Information Service) or (04) 801 0854 info@ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz Parent to Parent December 2018


A few fave things

SleepDrops, DIVINE SLEEP The sleep specialists at SleepDrops are happy to introduce a touch of luxury into your families nightly wind down routine.SleepDrops DIVINE SLEEP Aromatherapy Room and Pillow spray is the perfect combination of organic essential oils to create a haven in any bedroom, infusing sleep space with calm, peace and tranquillity. Remove sleep struggles with DIVINE SLEEP from sleepdrops.co.nz

NumNum GOOtensil™ Encourage independent eating with this pre-spoon designed to use with purees/ other food blends making self-feeding easier for little ones. Unlike a spoon, the head is flat, uses liquid tension, no scooping, no balancing, and no wrong way to hold it! zabonne.co.nz

The Rubbish Whisperer Paper Straws, Printed, Flexible, Standard 100% biodegradable, bright flexible paper straws can replace plastic straws at kids parties and Christmas events. Foodsafe and home compostable, these straws are easy to use, easy to dispose of and safe for marine life if they end up in the ocean. 19.68cm long (also available 26cm). rubbishwhisperer.co.nz

$16.00 RRP for two pack + postage

$48.30 RRP for 600

SK Clothing Triangular Bandanas Add a touch of style to outfits with our brightly coloured triangular bandanas. Pre-shaped and with your choice of quick-attach velcro strip or domes, these bandanas are simple to put on, take off and clean. Clothing for rest homes, special care facilities and caregivers of people with high needs. skclothing.co.nz $18.00 RRP + postage

W.S. Medical Protac SenSit A specially made chair for children and adults that stimulates the senses and promotes calmness. With its four side flaps, the chair hugs the body closely, giving the user a feeling of restfulness, comfort, security and well-being.

Dr Barman's Superbrush Research based to be the best for caregivers to provide oral hygiene. Three sided angled brush head allows better access to the gumline. Available in three sizes. zabonne.co.nz $10.00 RRP + postage. Extra soft brush $10.50 RRP + postage

$3277.50 RRP

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Welcom New faces

Tena koutou katoa,

T

hank you to all members, friends and staff who attended the recent 2018 Parent to Parent AGM. Together we reflected on another busy year with many successes.

As a Board we are delighted to have recently appointed Jane Bawden as the Chief Executive. One of Jane’s first roles was to collaborate in the development of the Parent to Parent Strategic Plan 2018- 2021. It is clear Jane shares our vision placing families and whānau at the centre of everything we do.

We have been very fortunate throughout this process to be guided by Lorna Sullivan as a Parent to Parent board member and President over the past year. It is with sadness we now farewell Lorna from the national board. As many of you will know, Lorna has recently become the Director of the Disabled People and Whānau supporting team for the system transformation roll-out in the MidCentral region. As a board and organisation we are grateful to Lorna for her commitment to Parent to Parent, and her wise counsel guiding our responsiveness to the changing landscape of disability supports embracing the Enabling Good Lives principles. We wish Lorna well in her new role. The board also wishes to acknowledge Martin Gallagher’s dedicated service over the past six years as an elected board member.

Governance of Parent to Parent (and any not for profit organisation) entails the functions of setting direction, strategic planning, making policy and strategy decisions, overseeing and monitoring organisational performance, and ensuring overall accountability. It’s a complex role and, in the case of Parent to Parent, requires an understanding of the challenges and needs of parents and whānau with disabled children and/or health needs. Currently the Parent to Parent board is made up of myself (President), Julie-Ann Johnson (Vice President), Nick Wilkinson, Sarah Verran, and Peter Campbell and Martin Gallagher as co-opted board members. The board is delighted to welcome new board member Sarah Verran.

As an organisation we aim to be at the cutting edge of family leadership. We want families to have authority and autonomy over their lives. Thank you to the Parent to Parent Support Parents, volunteers and staff who continue to support parents and whānau in their journey. Together we are stronger and together we can make a difference. He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. Ngā mihi nui Andrea Lee Parent to Parent National Board President

Andrea Lee – National President Originally from the Waikato, Andrea, her husband and two children settled in Nelson in 2004 after living and working abroad for many years. With a BA in Sociology and post graduate qualifications in ESOL, Andrea has over 25 years’ experience in the notfor-profit sector including both the Youth, Education and Disability sectors in voluntary, paid and governance roles. She has attended and presented at numerous disability sector

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Parent to Parent December 2018

conferences both internationally and in New Zealand. Parent to Parent became part of Andrea’s life in 2007 when her son was diagnosed with the genetic condition Fragile X syndrome. She is a past regional committee president, a current Support Parent and contracted facilitator for Parent to Parent. Andrea works as the Executive Director for Fragile X New Zealand.


ome

New faces

Helen Johnson – New Life Member

From Palmerston North, Helen has advocated and accessed Parent to Parent services since 2000 as a parent, grandparent and active Support Parent. She is also a former national president.

Manawatu and other groups encouraging people to live a balanced life has given her opportunities to coach, such as for Special Olympics Summer World Games, develop new sports opportunities, and win volunteer awards.

Helen is on the Enabling Good Lives regional leadership core group representing families in the MidCentral region and part of disability sector transformation first-hand. She believes Parent to Parent has an important role to play in this process.

Helen has a BA in Education with a background as a tutor and business owner. She works as a supported employment facilitator for supported living/employment and ACC serious injury clients.

Extensive volunteer work with Special Olympics, Parafed

Helen is married to Malcolm and they have three adult children, one of whom has a disability.

Julie-Ann Johnson – Vice President

Julie-Ann, her husband and three children live on the rural Canterbury Plains. She has been an accountant in the corporate sector for over 15 years and, after raising children, Julie-Ann has returned to work part-time for a dairy investment company near Christchurch. Parent to Parent New Zealand became a valuable part of their lives following their first phone call 11 years ago to a trained Support Parent. Son Patrick, 14, has an intellectual disability; his siblings have attended Parent to Parent SibCamps and events and have benefited greatly from them.

Julie-Ann joined Parent to Parent’s Greater Canterbury committee to support the local co-ordinator with activities and fundraising. She is the treasurer for the Selwyn Launch Group, which aims to promote the inclusion of young adults with disabilities through work experience, employment and social activities. She is passionate about enriching the lives of children with disabilities and their families in rural districts, and considers Parent to Parent an organisation that can assist them with information provision, networking with services and connection to other families on the same path.

Sarah Verran – New Board member Settling in Cambridge, and after a life-changing diagnosis for her daughter, meant a change of perspective and a desire to move into a new career path, away from the corporate sector and into the social sector. With many years in sales, marketing and media, Sarah has used her skills and knowledge of both sectors to facilitate strong networks and relationships. Sarah works with an organisation that provides a CMS solution which supports community organisations to manage client information and report on data. Accessing a multitude of services for her daughter has enabled Sarah to see where positive change can be made.

She is passionate about offering practical insights as to how to access resources from a more effective wrap-around model of care service. With lived experience of day-to-day care, and how the access of services looks for the end user, means Sarah is a keen advocate for disability and mental health challenges in the Waikato, both government and NGO. Her high-energy personality means she is not afraid to get stuck in to advocate for better outcomes. Having won the 2018 Emerging Director in the Disability sector for the Waikato Institute of Directors was an honour for Sarah. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on the Life Unlimited board. Parent to Parent December 2018

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Nau mai

New faces

Jane Ford – Coastal Bay of Plenty Regional Coordinator Jane, originally from the Waikato, has lived in Papamoa for 20 years with her husband Grant, and their three boys (now in Auckland). Jane loves the Bay of Plenty, and has a great understanding of the diverse demographics and people in the area.

Jane has spent the past five years working in the Bay of Plenty non-profit sector as a community programmes coordinator and tutor. She recently started training the Tauranga Special Olympics swim team and says she is gaining so much personally from this rewarding position.

She has a varied background in the disability sector, starting with support work in various roles during her six-year OE. Having been a teacher aid for five years in a local school and then operating a swim school in her back yard for many years, Jane has supported many children on their personal and very individual journeys.

Jane has a passion for relationship-building and connecting people, which she sees as much-needed skills for the Parent to Parent coordinator role she started early October. She is enjoying meeting Parent to Parent families and working with its staff to continue and grow the great work of Parent to Parent.

Jo Hannah – Greater Canterbury Regional Coordinator From the UK, Jo and her family moved to New Zealand, arriving to a very broken Christchurch in August 2011. Now, they cannot imagine living anywhere else. After completing school, she took a gap year to nanny in Philadelphia, USA, returning to study marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has since worked in both retail and non-profit organisations in this field. Jo has two children, and her eldest Abigail,10, suffers anxiety issues. “For Abigail it reached its peak two years ago when she developed OCD tendencies as a way of coping with her worries. At this stage it was taking her two hours to go through her ritual of checking.

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Parent to Parent December 2018

“With support from school, GPs and CAFS (Child, Adolescent and Family Service), we have been able to help her to not only overcome her OCD, but put strategies in place to help her cope and deal with her worries better. “ It has been this journey for Jo and her family that has seen her redirect her focus to work in an environment where she can help and support families and communities. Jo says that being a coordinator is the perfect opportunity to utilise her skills developed over the years, but also to help and support families at times when they need it most. She started working with Parent to Parent in November, and is getting to know its families, volunteers, and hearing their stories.


haere ma New faces

Jill McGill – Hawke’s Bay Regional Coordinator Jill was born in Wanganui into a large family of nine children, moving to Napier when she was 10. Having so many sisters and brothers set her on a path to working with young children; becoming an Early Childhood Teacher, finishing her degree in Education through Massey University, and completing a Rudolph Steiner teaching course which gave her a different educational perspective. Jill worked as a parent educator for Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) and was its Hawke’s Bay coordinator for eight years, working with parents and children of many cultures and needs. She also relieved as a registered teacher for the Napier Kindergarten Association, and last year became a Baby Sleep Consultant. “This is a very part-time position which gives me a lot of

enjoyment when I see families turn their lives around once sleep has been restored! I also run seminars at various ECE (early childhood education) services to discuss the science of sleep with parents.” Jill started her new part-time role as a Parent to Parent coordinator in November, and is based at the Napier Family Centre where she works as a Family Support Worker, also facilitating courses such as Positive Parenting and Parenting Teens. “I’m passionate about passing on skills to families and helping problem-solve when needed. Working at the NFC has given me the opportunity to widen my profile, running Strengthening Family meetings and learning new skills.” Jill has two adult daughters, two granddaughters, and a very supportive husband who keeps their garden gorgeous.

Some things are worth waiting for

I

t’s taken over a year to organise, but we’ve just opened a Parent to Parent office in Hawkes’s Bay – thanks to local support.

In early December Jill McGill joined our nationwide team as a part-time regional coordinator, based at the Napier Family Centre in Onekawa. Parent to Parent general manager Guy Ockenden has been working closely with the Family Centre’s CEO Kath Curran to make this happen. “It has been a real pleasure working with the Napier Family Centre team,” says Guy. “They have been remarkably supportive of our wish to establish a presence in Hawke’s Bay, and have gone the extra mile to ensure we can work together and that it will be sustainable for the future.

“We intend to grow the role by increasing Jill’s hours in 2019 – the Family Centre and Parent to Parent are organisations committed to partnering to make good things happen, and reducing the overheads in employing a new person to the role.” The role is currently supported by The Kingdom Foundation and The Eastern and Central Charitable Trusts, which understood the need for Parent to Parent services in Hawke’s Bay, says Guy. “It has taken longer than we initially thought to establish a base to provide the best services for Hawke’s Bay families, but good things are work waiting for.”

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Services

The next chapter

B

rearn and her family made contact with Enrich+ as she didn’t have an exact idea about what she wanted to do when she left school. But she was interested in exploring employment opportunities, building independence and finding social groups in the community.

was successful and Brearn offered a part-time position. Six months on she no longer required her visual list. Brearn also learned how to make coffee and completed a barista course through Wintec with support from Enrich+.

Brearn worked through these goals within the transition from school service at Enrich+, and one in particular she was keen to explore was employment; she knew a customer service role such as retail or café work would suit, based on her strengths and interests.

Through a combination of her own hard work, a supportive family, encouragement from her school and the information and guidance she received from Enrich+, Brearn has now made a successful transition out of school and into the next chapter of her life. Engaging in a variety of activities has developed the social and life skills she needs to help her transition from school.

Working closely with her facilitator at Enrich+ to look for jobs online and in the community, and after applying for several positions, Brearn secured a work trial at a café and attended with support from her facilitator. With on-the-job coaching from the Enrich+ team, Brearn was supported to learn tasks and developed strategies such as visual task lists to complete tasks without support. The trial

For more details email info@enrichplus.org.nz or call 0800 ENRICH. Transition from school services are for those aged between 16 and 21 on the autism spectrum, and those with a physical, intellectual or sensory disability.

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Disability directory Use our directory to connect with services that support parents, carers and people with disabilities and health impairments. Adaptive Technology Solutions

NZ Foundation Conductive Education

Discover a whole new world of communication, have more confidence and be comfortable using your computer, lap top, tablet or smart phone. Trusted and experienced we provide a wide variety of flexible technology solutions for people who struggle to use their computer, read print or who may prefer dictating rather than typing by offering assessments, training and support!

Conductive Education provides rehabilitation and education programmes for people from birth through to adulthood who have developmental delays or disabilities. Our teams of specialists based in our early childhood, school and adult centres focus on all areas - encouraging skill development towards independence. Call your local Conductive Education provider for more information.

Phone 04 528 7600 Email genevieve@adaptivetech.co.nz Website www.adaptivetech.co.nz

Phone 0277169323 Email sally@nzfce.org.nz Website www.nzfce.org.nz

Enrich+

Arthritis New Zealand

Working with people that have autism or a disability to have ‘a life like any other’. Focussing on social, communication and life skill development enabling people to live in the community of their choice. Services include transition from school, coaching and mentoring, supported living and employment, facilitated skill development and group activities. Support and training available for those interacting with individuals with autism.

Arthritis is not just about older people. If your child has been diagnosed with arthritis, contact us now for free information, advice and support.

Leading communication experts

Enrich+ and Enrich+ Spectrum Energy

Phone 07 871 6410 Email info@enrichplus.org.nz Website www.enrichplus.org.nz

Maximising the ability in disability

MAXIMISING THE ABILITY IN DISABILITY

Improving the life of every person affected by arthritis

Find out more about our annual Children’s Camp. Phone 0800 663 463 Email info@arthritis.org.nz Website www.arthritis.org.nz

Care Matters

Altogether Autism

Care Matters runs nationwide workshops/learning opportunities tailored to the needs of your community, to enable carers access to knowledge, support and advocacy. It also provides a wealth of resources on its website. An 0800 number connects callers to its courses and directs carers to potential respite care..

Altogether Autism is a free, nationwide autism spectrum information and advisory service. We individually research your request for information and supply to autistic people, parents, educators, support workers, GPs, police and any other professional working with adults or children on the autism spectrum.

Phone 0508 236 236 Email info@carematters.org.nz Website www.carematters.org.nz

Phone 0800 273 463 Email info@altogetherautism.org.nz Website www.altogetherautism.org.nz

Learning and Wellbeing

Informing, empowering and connecting through knowledge and experience

Parent to Parent December 2018

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Merry Christmas and a happy new year from all of us at Parent to Parent

164497

If 40 undeliverable please return to Parent to Parent,2018 PO Box 234, Hamilton 3214 Parent to Parent December

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