SPELADD provide support and services for people with learning differences such as dyslexia, other specific learning difficulties (SLD) and attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) without the hyperactivity and high functioning Autism (ASD). They also provide help for the parents/families, educators, employers and the wider community of people with SLDs.

With clients as young as four through to adults in full-time employment, the largest age groups being 7-10 and 18+. Almost half their clients are currently asking for financial assistance with assessments and then, if recommended, tutoring. More than 60% of those assessed are male, and just under 60% identify their nationality as New Zealand/European origins, 12% of Maori descent.

As well as working with individuals with specific learning disabilities SPELADD works with parents, caregivers, families, educators and Oranga Tamariki. In addition they also work with and make referrals to other organisations and agencies.

The Sutherland Self Help Trust provided a grant in 2022 to the Client Subsidy Fund. This fund can be accessed by clients to aid payment for organisations SPELADD work with and others that their clients are referred to. For example, occupational health, optometrists, nutritionists and others that can assist with the improvement of learning for their clients.

The objective of the client subsidy fund is for those who struggle to pay the fee for the Learning Disabilities Assessment and / or the Tutoring which works on filling the gaps discovered in the assessment. The fund assists those in the community who are or may feel marginalised due to financial and educational constraints. The donation from Sutherland Self Help Trust allowed them to provide subsidies for 25 local families.

The impact is felt across the community through the impact on the clients to those that support them, with the following testimonials shared:

“We have forwarded the report to [client’s] teacher and she is quite overwhelmed with joy to finally have quite definitive reassurance through such a thorough assessment, making everything so much clearer for her. And is looking forward to implementing your recommendations in class and seeing how they progresses.”

SPELADD tutoring has been hugely beneficial to my 12 year old son, who, prior to his medical diagnosis, was labelled ‘naughty’ by a teacher he had for two years running. He subsequently formed the belief that he was ‘stupid’ and ‘dumb’. His tutoring has increased his numeracy and literacy, and his confidence in himself.”

“We choose to work with a SPELADD tutor as we wanted the 1to1 teaching which is tailored to our son specifically. The tutor really understands his needs and requirements, and even in a small amount of time there has been a positive change. At school, teachers have witnessed the changes as writing has improved and the overall educational achievements have improved. Without the additional tutoring all aspects of school life would have continued to slip.

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