01-22-2020 08:02 AM
My family and I are going to be moving to Sydney soon and I would like to have my son in a school that has support for his anxiety disorder. He has had this since he was 3 and needs extra care. In New Zealand he had a teachers assistant assigned to him for grades 4 through 6 and has made great strides in his abilities. He also sees a psychologist here and would need to continue that in Sydney as well. He will be entering 6th grade again in Sydney due to the difference in school systems (age for each grade) etc. Any help or advice would be most appreciated.
01-22-2020 03:38 PM
Hi @1garden ,
Welcome to the RO forums! I hope you'll find it a useful and supportive community.
I'm just going to tag in some of our active parent community members here, because I know quite a few people have a lot of knowledge about support services available in Australia, and a lot of wisdom that they can share! @PapaBill , @Dad4good , @JAKGR8 , @Faob_1
Hopefully I can be helpful too - I also have a child who's a similar age who's recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. You sound like a really proactive parent, and it's fantastic to hear that your son has had so much professional support.
Do you know what school your son will be attending in Sydney? Most state schools should have access to a school counsellor or psychologist who may be at the school part time or full time, depending on the size of the school. Your school principal should be able to let you know, and should be able to work with you to formulate a support plan that indicates how best to support your child at school. Depending on the size of the school and needs of the individual student body, some schools also employ learning support assistants, who work in partnership with the classroom teacher to support kids who may need some extra support.
Your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are a good first point of contact in the public system to access support for your son, the link is here https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/Pages/camhs.aspx.
Most community health services employ clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, OTs and Speech Pathologists who work in multidisciplinary teams, you can self-refer to these services but waiting times can be long, depending on how severe your needs are. My understanding is if you're from NZ you do have access to these services- but that's something you should be able to confirm with them pretty easily.
The Cool Kids program may also be of interest, they run programs specifically for kids with social anxiety and generalised anxiety.
I hope this is helpful - how are you feeling about the move?
01-27-2020 08:27 AM
01-27-2020 03:57 PM
Hi @1garden, thanks for sharing that with us. You have a really big move ahead of you - I can understand how worrying and taxing that must be for your family. How did your son cope with moving the first time?
I have noticed that @Janine-RO gave a lot of links and referrals. Did you get a chance to look at those? You could contact the school or some of these services before your move to get more information. You could find out more about their availability, eligibility and service that they offer