6. School transitions for autistic children
May 12, 2020
Budget 2020 – Biggest Disability Funding Increase Ever
June 11, 2020

The Ministry of Health announced Carer Support Funding can be used for anything that gives you a break from your carer responsibilities. Below is some information from their website.  

Carer Support during COVID-19 

During the COVID-19 response you can spend Carer Support on any support or service that helps you have a break from caring for a person with a disability. 

As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your job to make sure the respite is good quality and covers all your requirements. In most cases, if you run out of Carer Support, you will not get additional funding. 

You cannot use your Carer Support for the following: 

  • illegal activities, gambling or alcohol  
  • to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.  

You will need to keep a simple record of what you have spent the money on and when you buy items, keep the receipts. 

Click here to read more. 

Here are a couple examples of how families have used their funding: 

Mum in Opotiki who has three ASD children. 

During COVID-19 we have used our Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) to purchase: 

  • Lego 
  • Cellphones 
  • PlayStation 4 
  • Learning resources 
  • Sensory resources  
  • Weighted blankets 
  • Fidget toys   
  • A Chromebook for home learning 

The list is endless really! We applied for the Lego as play therapy at home and got camping gear as we couldn’t go away so set up camps at home which also helps our daughter get used to ‘tent life’ before going away.  This has given our family so much freedom. 

Mum in Canterbury using Individualised Funding (IF) 

Our daughter received her tricycle today and she is so happy. This was made possible because of the COVID-19 restrictions. 

During lockdown we had no access to hydrotherapy and the Ara Flow to Go service which is why we decided to use IF to purchase a tricycle.  

Our daughter S has hemiplegia and needs to use her muscles and walking was not using them effectively enough. S also has mental health issues alongside autism and anxiety. The tricycle is our long-term solution to more than one problem which enabled us to use our existing budget. It was a silver lining to a frustrating situation. 

Ps. The dog fits on the back and there’s a cup holder for hot chocolate. 

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