Disability Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your child may need learning support if they have any challenges with learning or in everyday life.

If your child needs extra support for learning and development, there are early intervention supports available. These supports help tamariki (children) at home and in their early learning centres. They are available from birth through to starting school.

All tamariki (children) with additional learning needs receive support from their school. But if you and the teachers agree your child needs additional support, the Ministry of Education's Learning Support team can help. Staff at your child's school can arrange this.

Support is available for your child if they have a significant health condition that stops them from currently attending school. Support will help them to attend and learn at school safely.

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

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