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Thread: Need Urgent help in child schooling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    India
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    Post Need Urgent help in child schooling

    Hello,

    I am a new member of this forum. I need some urgent help. It is regarding the education of my 6 year old daugter.

    I came to Auckland, New Zealand on a student visa in September 2009. My family (my spouse and daughter) stayed back in India. I completed my studies in IT in September 2010 and my spouse and daughter joined me in April 2010 on dependent work permit and tourist visa respectively.

    Soon after I finished studies I was issued an open work permit for 1 year and I was fortunate enough to find an IT job in Auckland in October 2009. I worked in Auckland from October 2009 till April 2010 and during this time I was unable to enrol my daughter in Kindergarten due to unavailability of seat. I was transferred to Wellington and I came to Wellington in April 2010 with my family.

    I applied for residency in 2010 and as part of the same Immigration Medical was carried out by a Immigration appointed doctor in wellington and test result showed we (myself, my spouse and my 4 year old daughter) have acceptable standard of health.

    Due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to submit my EOI and hence I reapplied for extension of my & spouse Work permit and also extension of my daughter's visitor visa.

    In my work permit application I submitted the full medical and was provided with a 2 year work visa. so far so good.

    In December 2011 I lost my job in the company I was working for in Wellington and here also I was lucky to find another company who offered me a full time job and also helped me in getting another work visa for 2 years.

    I joined this company in Feb 2012 and again reapplied for residence visa. I applied for an EOI and as a part of the same submitted all the documents except the full medical since the CO informed that Medical once submitted is valid for 36 months and no further medical was required.

    During this time in August 2012 I noticed that my daughter who was 5 years old have some difficulties in communicating and hence we took her to an audiologist for a hearing test. The audiologist was unable to complete the full test and hence she referred the issue to a child development unit.

    We went to the child development unit and the child psychologist checked the child and within 15 min after asking her to perform some tasks declared in face of my spouse that my daughter is Autistic and she will not be able to do anything without the support of the mother for her entire life. After hearing this my spouse went into a depression and hence I requested the psychologist that we don't agree on her views and opinion and she then informed that we are free to take a second consultation. I had no faith in New Zealand Medical system and hence I informed her that I will take my child to India for a thorough check-up. The doctor here in New Zealand made a report where she mentioned her observation and referred the same for Indian doctor.

    Due to my work commitment and also due to lack of fund (I am the sole bread earner for my family) I was unable to take my child to India for a thorough Medical check-up. My residency was granted in May 2013; In June 2013 I somehow managed 1 month leave from the job and took my child to India for a Medical check-up.

    From June till September series of tests (Both Physical and mental) tests were carried out in India and the report came out which indicated that my child was mildly autistic. I came back to New Zealand at the end of July 2013 and my family stayed back for 3 months in India.

    Back in New Zealand, I approached the Ministry of Education special learning cell and informed them about my child's condition and they said that they will help me enrol my child in school. They asked if there is any test conducted here in Wellington NZ and I submitted the report and also mentioned that this report is only referral report and we then waited for the India report.

    My spouse and daughter joined me back in New Zealand in October 2013 and my daughter turned Six years old. With the help from Ministry of education my daughter was enrolled in local school. From October 2013 till now she is facing difficulties in attending school. In March 2014 a resource and learning behaviour teacher was appointed who updated us that since my daughter is unable to adjust in school and have speech delay, behavioural issue hence she is recommending ORS funding for my child.

    Now here the problem lies, ministry of education officer , school principal is saying that If we apply for ORS chances are that after verifying the both the Medical report (Here in NZ and India) the assessor might think that we have not informed New Zealand immigration that our child is autistic, and hence they might reject our residency. But the medical test in New Zealand was not completed and hence my Daughter was referred for a second opinion.
    Ministry of education and school is now not listening to the facts and are saying that since we are new migrants and have a child who has some development disorder which came to light recently ORS application might get rejected and we will be deported.
    I am in such a situation that I am unable to decide whether to go for ORS application or to go back to my native country, since the school is pressuring us for ORS and we are not sure what to do next. Please advice us a this is affected my child’s schooling here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    36,511

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    Sympathies for your difficult situation. I hope someone with some useful experience will be able to make suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ
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    Default

    Not sure what to tell you but do you need ORS funding as that is reserved for kids that need a lot of help at school? And do you already have your residency in hand? Has Immigration said anything? The school can apply for funding for assist that is not ORS, ie speech, RTLB that you already mentioned and OT etc. Has your child development centre offered any help? You may also want to talk to WINS about disability allowance which is not income tested.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    India
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    Thanks for you advice. I am resident here since May 2013. I don't want ORS stamping on my child as the medical report which was from India mentioned that my daughter is mild autistic. However school and the RTLB teacher is telling us that our daughter will not be able to study in any school without ORS. They are not not allowing any other way out. We are now in a dilemma where if we don't allow school to apply for ORS the school is not supporting our daugther and If we do allow school to apply for ORS the school is telling us that our residency will be in danger since the New Zealand Medical report was before the residency was granted. I have informed the school that the new zealand report was not a complete assement in the report the doctor mentioned that she thinks my daughter is autistic but also metioned that she is welcoming the India doctor reports as well.

    Our life has become misrable only because of the constant issue from the school and my daughter is suffering the most. Pls help

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
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    I am the parent of a child with special needs myself, so I understand what you are going through. Have you looked into private establishments? I would get in touch with any parent associations for children with autism that you can find and ask the advice of the other parents. It would be a shame to apply for ORS funding, put your residency at risk and then not get the funding after all. Do they think she would qualify for high needs funding? I have just heard of many children not getting any ORS funding despite a diagnosis. In the long run it seems to me that it would be best to clear this up with INZ, but of course you have to tread carefully. Have you spoken to an immigration adviser?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    India
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    Thanks for your advice, yes I and my family is going through a lot of tension now. The school allocated a RTLB teacher who is telling us that the only option remaining is ORS in this case. I have requested her to study the medical assessment reports for both India and New Zealand and they also know that in case the school writes the ORS application there will an issue during the verification stage.

    Special Education officer in Ministry of Education, School principal, class teacher and the RTLB teacher is all aware of the issue and still they are forcing us for ORS. As a parent I believe my daughter is not in such critical stage where she needs ORS support. However RTLB is insisting that since my daughter is 7 years old she won't get ORS funding if delayed now.

    I took advice from a immigration lawyer who told me that there could be issue with residency since he thinks I have hidden the facts, but the truth is that in the New Zealand report that doctor stated that she has an impression that my daughter might be Autistic . They offer further help but I lost all faith in the New Zealand medical hence I took second opinion from the doctor in India.

    So I am in a strange situation. I also met an officer from Autism New Zeeland and discussed the issue with her in detail however she was also not able to offer any help.

    My question is

    Are there any other option for my child here (apart from ORS) which can be provided by the school.
    Does the funding vary from school to school in New Zealand?
    Is there any Age restriction in case of ORS?
    What happens to children who don't get ORS? Are they forced to sit at home and no attend any school?

    Please advise since I am the sole bread owner for my family and we have no one to help us here in New Zealand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Auckland
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    I am not an expert on this as I am new to NZ myself, but I can tell you what I have been told. When we applied for a visa the MA reported that my daughter would qualify for ORS funding until age 18, and this was how they calculated the "cost to NZ" for our family, so I think that would be the age limit. My understanding is that the funding is child-dependent and not school-dependent.

    There is another scheme for school funding called High Health Needs. The school can also get funding through the Ministry of Education. But for both of these the school would have to be on your side. My feeling is that they would want to apply for ORS funding first, and if that is refused apply for the other types of funding. Here is the criteria:
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducatio...boutSHHNF.aspx

    Has your daughter received residency as well, or just you at this point?

    Do you think that your job would allow you to qualify for a medical waiver if you had to redo the residency assessment at this point? From what I have heard from others, autism is not an automatic exclusion especially if she is mildly affected. So you could try to be completely honest with INZ and tell them that you did not deliberately hide this from them, etc, but of course there would be a risk involved.

    Why do you think they are insisting on ORS? Is she disruptive in class?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    India
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    Thanks for your update, Yes we have received residency (my daughter, myself and me). My Daughter is very hyperactive in class, as that why the school is not keen in keeping her. I recently spoke to my child's RTLB teacher and explained her the reason for not applying to ORS since it might put the residency in risk. I am looking for other support from school apart from ORS. I am planning to move school and residence so that I am near to her school and hope that the school is able to provide some other type of teacher aid.

    Is ORS that only way out on this... I am so confused :-(

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Auckland
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    I don't believe they can force you to apply for ORS funding. It sounds like changing schools might be a good option. We had my daughter in a Waldorf-Steiner school for a while and I think it is a good system for kids with learning differences. If you have one in your area and you can afford it, they might be able to accommodate her.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    154

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    I'm not sure if you are still reading this thread, but I just wanted to tell you that I have learned of another organization in Auckland that might be able to help you. Look up Bechange (bechange.co.nz). They are a private service provider so you would not need ORS funding to access their services, though you would need to pay them of course.

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