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Guest sweety

Child with learning difficulties

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Guest sweety

Hi there

 

My husband and I are thinking of starting our skilled independant migrant visa application (175) in Feb/March time to hopefully go to Brisbane.

 

My first worry is I have a 9 year old daughter who has learning difficulties and recieves speech and Lanuage therapy she also has extra help with a school support worker, who is there for the whole class but particulary my daughter to help her stay in mainstream school.

 

She does recieve DLA and I recieve Carers allowance for her.

 

I was wondering if this sort of help is available in Australia or if i have to pay privately for this as we wouldnt be citizens for 5 years.

 

Many Thanks

Saffy x

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Perhaps your bigger worry should be whether her disability is going to affect your visa application in the first instance. You should seek advice from an agent who specializes in applications for people where medical conditions/disabilities could be a barrier to acceptance.

 

However, once you have got your visa then most states will provide support for kids with disabilities - speech langugage disorders arent generally well supported though unless there is a need for signing or other augmented communication. The states vary as to their eligibility for support and the way the support is delivered - in ACT for example speech therapy is provided on a family model rather than through the schools but in some other states the disability funding can go to purchase speech therapy support in schools.

 

You should get copies of all recent psych assessments, speech/language assessments, current skill level, adaptive behaviour so that when you do get here you can establish her eligibility for support. Most states are heavily into inclusion so the mainstream option is preferred but in general the disability support is targeted at the lowest 2 -5% of functioning in whichever area of difficulty they are experiencing. If they dont comply with the eligibility for disability support then the school will cope with them the best way they can from within their own resources in which case you may need to seek speech therapy outside the school. As I said, all the states are different not only in how they support children with disabilities but the way the resources are allocated and who is eligible for support.

 

Good luck!

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Hi

 

We lived in Brisbane for 18 years. We have a son who is autistic and is now 11 years old. We now live in the UK after leaving Australia 3 years ago.

 

Many state schools in and around brisbane have SEUs (Special Education Units) attached to them. Students with a range of dissabilities spend most of the time in these units (from our experience). Many of the SEUs are very good with trained teachers. The problem we had was when it came to mainstreaming.

The SEU staff were willing but the school and the mainstream teachers involved were not so enthusiastic. Having said this I beleive we were unlucky and that the school our son was enrolled in was not one of the betters ones for mainstreaming kids with special needs. From what we have been told finding a good school for mainstreaming might be best achieved by directly contacting as many schools as you can and picking an area to live that hopefully has the right school.

 

Another problem we faced is that the maximum 'one on one' help a child could receive is 20 minutes a day. Our son receives 3 - 4 hous a day in the UK and is now ahead on several subjects.

Australia has a similar carer's allowance but i'm not sure how it compares to the UK.

I can't say for sure but I beleive the support similar to DLA would be significantly lower.

 

Sorry to be a bit on the negative side up until now but it is better to know some of the good and bad.

 

As far as lifestyle for kids you can't beat it. There are so many things to do for kids and parents. Sports, camping, fishing, boating - Moreton Bay is beautiful and excellent for boating. . Great weather 90% of the time.

We intend to return to Australia once our son has finished school and greatly miss the lifstyle.

 

Hopefully more people can help you on this excellent forum,

wildbriz

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Guest sweety

Hi there, and thank you both for your replies :)

 

I have indeed been concerned about the possibilities of failing entry requirements on the "health" grounds. My daughter has speech and language difficulties - she has a good vocabulary, and can speak clearly etc. superficially you wouldn't know there's a problem, but she was assessed as being in the bottom 2% for her understanding of language - so whilst she can appear to follow what you're saying, and even repeat it to you, quite often she fails to grasp the meaning of what you've said. She also has some autistic-type behavioural traits and therefore has difficulties with some social interactions, though again most of the time manages quite well.

 

The school she's at at the moment is very much all-inclusive and there is a classroom assistant on hand to assist with children with difficulties. Holley currently receives a lot of this time.

 

It's nice to hear that there's a DLA equivalent, though i'll possibly not expect to get it, i'm not sure what the criteria will be (and was plesantly surprised to get it here)

 

The main thing is that there is help available, and i'll be able to keep her in a main stream school, and that there'll be someone on hand to point her in the right direction as and when required.

 

curently the only 1-on-1 assistance she gets is the speech & language therapy, though locally there's a shortage of therapists, and this seems in short supply.

 

The lifestyle is the big factor - being able to get the kids involved in outdoor group activities all year round. At the moment 2 of my boys play football - that's a joy- freezing temperatures, horrible wind, play often rained off because the pitch is too drenched.

 

Everything i've seen and read indicates that Australia is going to be much better than here - many differences, but if i wanted something the same i wouldn't want to move!!!

 

Many thanks again,

Saffy x

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This is the SLI information Speech-Language Impairment (SLI) you might like to have to share with your therapists so you can come prepared. There are links on that site to the services offered in Queensland and what you can expect there.

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hello Saffy

 

Welcome to Poms in Oz.

 

Which of you and Hubby is the prospective main visa applicant and what is the occupation involved, please?

 

The thing about this is that if you choose the 175 visa and you get knocked back because of Holley's visa meds, there is no right of appeal against the visa refusal.

 

Also, depending on the relevant occupation, visa processing times are set to slow down with effect from 1st Jan 2009 because there is to be a new pecking order with visa processing priorities.

 

Critical Skills List : British Expat Discussion Forum

 

Do you have any rellies in Oz who could sponsor you for a subclass 176 visa instead?

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

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Hi there, and thank you both for your replies :)

 

I have indeed been concerned about the possibilities of failing entry requirements on the "health" grounds. My daughter has speech and language difficulties - she has a good vocabulary, and can speak clearly etc. superficially you wouldn't know there's a problem, but she was assessed as being in the bottom 2% for her understanding of language - so whilst she can appear to follow what you're saying, and even repeat it to you, quite often she fails to grasp the meaning of what you've said. She also has some autistic-type behavioural traits and therefore has difficulties with some social interactions, though again most of the time manages quite well.

 

The school she's at at the moment is very much all-inclusive and there is a classroom assistant on hand to assist with children with difficulties. Holley currently receives a lot of this time.

 

 

 

Hi Saffy

I`m just wondering if you daughter has Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD) ?

A friend`s daughter here has recently been diagnosed and sounds very similar to Holly. I don`t know weather it would help your case if she were diagnosed with SPD or not, but if they realise that it is a very high functioning disorder it might.

Have a look at www.spdsupport.org.uk

Hope it helps.

Good Luck

Sue x


IELTS, ACS RPL, Feb 26th 09 175 online lodged

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Guest sweety

Hi there

 

In answer to your question Gill, Its my husband thats the main visa applicant his occupation is in IT, hes a programmer, so hoping to go on that requirement.

 

And Thank you Sue for that link, I do remember that title being mentioned in one of Holleys appointments, because she has such complex difficulties theyve not actually diagnosed her with anything yet.

 

She has bits of SPD, she has bits of Austism, she has bits of Aspergers, its bits of everything they thought she might have but not the whole thing.

 

She says things like 'Wheres my that?' and we ask 'Your what?' and she will say 'My that, that thingy i had'...thats her sort of way of explaining things.

She will scream in her room and when we go to her and ask whats wrong, its because she cant take a jumper off for example or she can't find something, she doesnt know to ask for help, (although this is getting alittle better.)

She has slight OCD also and her imagination is excellent, plays for hours by herself, mimics everything to the T.

 

Sorry if ive gone on abit, just trying to explain it better lol

 

Thank you again for your replys :)

Saffy x

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi again Saffy

 

What are the doctors, therapists etc saying about the likely long term prognosis for Holly, please?

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

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Guest sweety
Hi again Saffy

 

What are the doctors, therapists etc saying about the likely long term prognosis for Holly, please?

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

 

 

 

 

They're not really...

Holley is very much 'highly functioning' and as far as we are aware should lead a 'normal' adult life.Though no health professional really wants to go out on a limb and be specific.

They have said that "Holley has severe speech and language difficulties and autistic-type behavioral traits" though have never previously wanted to label her as 'Aspergers' or 'Autistic spectrum' ...though last time we visited the specialist psychologist, they were considering giving her such a label in order to make help more accessible.

 

Saffy x

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi Saffy

 

Thanks for this additional info. I'm just trying to get a "feel" for which way the whole thing might go on Holly's visa meds.

 

Have you consulted any migration agents about this?

 

Or asked a Panel Doctor what s/he thinks would be likely, which is probably more reliable than asking an Agent in any case?

 

dima_health - Australian High Commission

 

You can consult a Panel Doctor any time you like, just as if you were an ordinary private patient of his/hers. Some would charge for having a chat with you & Holly at this stage. Others wouldn't.

 

Whereabouts do you live?

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

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Guest sweety

Hi Gill

 

Thank you for that, I will check that out and see what we can do. Anything is worth a shot :)

 

We live in Cornwall :)

 

Saffy x

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi Saffy

 

If you can bear the thought of a trek from Cornwall to Southampton, the Panel Doctor in Southampton is a guy called Dr Peter Goodall. He is Australian. Apparently he was born in Sydney, spent most of his childhood in Tasmania and then did his medical training in Perth.

 

Then he decided to travel round Europe, married an English girl and settled down here instead of going back to Oz.

 

Dr Goodall did the meds for my mother's Contributory Parent visa 3 years ago. She was 85 at the time and she is about 80% wheelchair bound after breaking her back in an accident some years ago. She can hobble a few yards on a zimmer frame but that is all.

 

Like you, I was worried about Mum's visa meds because she was applying for the Parents' equivalent of the 175 visa. We went and saw Dr Goodall before we made the final decision about whether to apply for the visa at all. He examined Mum from head to foot and said he reckoned she would get through the visa health requirements without any problems. He turned out to be 100% right about that.

 

More recently I went to see him with a friend who needs to do the IELTS in order to get enough points for her visa. She is profoundly deaf and it is possible to be exempted from one or more of the Modules in this situation, but a doctor has to say that the person must be exempted and why.

 

She & I decided to ask Dr Goodall since I live very close to Southampton and my friend works in the middle of Southampton, a 10 minute stroll from Dr G's surgery. Apart from dictating the necessary letter for the IELTS people whilst we were with him, we asked him whether he thought the girl's deafness would cause a problem with her main visa meds. He is adamant that it will NOT be a problem and again, I think he's right.

 

He is also incredibly pleasant to deal with.

 

I can't speak about any other Panel Doctors because Dr Goodall is the only one I've ever met. However I cannot recommend him highly enough if you feel it would be worth the trek to come up in this direction.

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

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Guest sweety

Thank you so very much for that information Gill...

 

I can't wait until my husband finishes work so i can let him read this and im pretty sure he will go to Southampton, its worth it in the long run, I'd rather spend little on petrol than £100s+ on a visa that could possibly be turned down..

 

Sorry about your mum but so pleased she passed :)

xx

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You are probably better not to have a diagnostic label at the moment - as soon as you start talking autism, you are more likely to encounter difficulties. Just leave it vague until you have your visa I reckon then you can go into more diagnosis later on because autism is certainly better provided for here than SPD or any other language disorder.

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Guest Gollywobbler
You are probably better not to have a diagnostic label at the moment - as soon as you start talking autism, you are more likely to encounter difficulties. Just leave it vague until you have your visa I reckon then you can go into more diagnosis later on because autism is certainly better provided for here than SPD or any other language disorder.

 

Hi Quoll

 

I agree. "Autism" and similar labels seem to be causing more than their fair share of hassles with visa meds at the minute. Did these conditions even have labels 20 or 30 years ago? Never having had children obviously I have never encountered the questions myself and have no first hand knowledge of how a child with one of these "new????" conditions would behave. (No idea how "normal" children behave either for that matter.)

 

I'm very sceptical about "labelling" children, though. Some of them are surely so young that it is impossible to make predictions about them in 10 or 15 years time?

 

That said, if the assistance available helps then plainly I would grab it.

 

I just have a feeling that some of this is "fad medicine"????

 

But I may be totally wrong. As I say - I have no experience of kids.

 

Best wishes

 

Gill

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Hi Gill

I don`t think these conditions are new, but they now have names!

When we were at school the kids with behavioural problems were left in mainstream classes with no extra help. Now there is some help depending on regional funding and they are kept in mainstream for as long as possible, but we all know how stretched teachers are with the `normal` kids and they don`t have much training for Special Ed.

Parents get help with extra finance and social workers and that`s good for them. I don`t think parents with kids like this want their children to be `special`, but sometimes the behaviour is so noticibly difficult that they have to seek some understanding which helps them live their day to day lives.

Some conditions can`t be spotted until certain ages because the traits are so similar to `normal boitstrous 5 yr olds` for example, but once this child reaches 7 or 8 their behaviour is so markedly `different ` to their peers that parents seek advice.

Some of these conditions have a spectrum of traits that cross over with each other and are more tricky to spot, such as Saffy`s daughter, and sometimes it takes ages for the professionals to finally decide a diagnosis because it is a `label`.

My best friend`s middle son has Asperger`s syndrome and is extremely hard work. It is not a fad, and the only treatment is brain altering drugs which at the moment they are steering clear of.

These kids need an enormous amount of support and if they don`t get it could possibly become even bigger problems in the future.

My own kids are pretty hyper-active, but not diagnosable (though on some days I`m not so sure)!!!! So I really feel for parents in this situation.

Sue x


IELTS, ACS RPL, Feb 26th 09 175 online lodged

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Kanner autism has been around for a long time, but Aspergers only really came into fashion in the late 80s. They add new labels to the pervasive developmental disorders categories (not officially, yet) all the time because individuals are, well, so individual and though they show some of the diagnostic categories they dont show them all so they make up a new name. Some people believe that Semantic Pragmatic disorder also falls into the realm of PDDs as well but not yet according to DSMIV. I think there is a degree of "fad" but, heck, some of the kids these days have huge problems and are very tricky to deal with.

 

Autism is actually one of those conditions which has very clear diagnostic indicators early on because one of the features is loss of language (amongst others) and there is some (admittedly debatable) evidence that early intervention can go some way to ameliorating the impact of the disorder with some kids. However, conditions like Aspergers - it is debatable whether you should be making a diagnosis until late primary age (the Poms are more circumspect than the Aussies who will slap a label on anything with a pulse these days just to get disability funding).

 

I think there is an element of "fad" but there is also a distressingly high level of "something" which is making kids "not normal" (I dont mean any of these in a derogatory sense, I just think there is something happening out there, be it food, parenting, genetics, stuff in the air, whatever, which is making a distressingly high number of kids' behaviour and ability to relate to the real world very screwed up. If I knew what it was, I would be rich because no one really wants their child to go through life with a "disabled" label stuck on them)

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Guest sweety

Thank you for your replies, I did have a lot to say but ive just deleted it all :(

 

Im going to make myself a cuppa and come back later I think lol

 

Saffy x

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Guest colinhay

Yesterday I learnt, after 9 months of waiting that I had been refused PR based on the medical of my son - who may or may not have ADD.

 

For some reason due to him being in a small fee-paying school it was deemed that he would too much of a burden on the Australian health system in the future.

 

He is 9 - and yes he can hard to hardle, but he certainly doesn't have a learning disorder and has never had an official diagnosis. We moved him to his school last year primarily because I was sick of having to pick him up from school every time he got suspended.

 

I work in IT - for the same company for the last 7.5 years in Sydney, my sons mother lost custody of him 4 years ago and then broke all contact.

 

I have no extended family in Australia - only my Aussie girlfriend and her two kids who I live next door to. Now that my son's medical has raised a red flag with immigration I'm worried that I won't even be able to renew my 457 visa.

 

So my best bet at the momemt is to go to the tribunal and if that fails, appeal to the immigration minister - exactly as per that German doctor.

 

Any ideas, help, past experiences very gratefully received !!

 

Colin

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Oh dear! That's the first time I have heard of ADD being knocked back but there is no telling with migration these days. You would be well advised to seek the advice of an agent who specialises in medical issues IMHO. I guess if your job cant be done by a local Aussie and is in such demand as the German doctor, you might have some success.

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Guest __TJ__

once you get the lable it is easier - over here anyway, cant speak for OZ cos we are nowhere near yet.

my ds has aspergers but is gifted as well, so out main issue is getting him ti function in school he is capable but easily distracted and hums or taps incessantly which we are working to fix.

re the benefits you will get nothign for 2 years as far as i have been informed. that may vary state to state but when i asked i was told carers and DLA dont apply to newcomers. so check it out, obviously your dd is more severe than my ds, he is "normal" if we ever used that word! the only difference is his attitude, the rules may be different for you

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