Hands Up!

Archive for May 2010

In researching purely based upon the website information provided by Travel Insures and then with a few phone calls made by others, we have found that it can be very hard to get. Of course many of you already knew that, but seriously even those insurers who state that they will cover pre-existing conditions, often for an extra charge, will balk at the idea of covering a child with special needs. This is especially the case if the child has a list of issues regardless of whether they have been given the ok to travel their Dr’s or even if they have been previously insured. While many travel insurers will have a list of accepted pre-existing conditions that they will accept without incurring extra charge (as long as they are deemed as being controlled) such as asthma, allergies and diabetes, there are some insurers who wont even cover you for that. So it pays to really do your home work. We will post up information on different policies once I figure out how to best display it!

Here is a quick list of  general things that will automatically see you declined for travel insurance: (this list is not specific to any one insurer)

  • A condition that you have recently had surgery for or are waiting for surgery on
  • If travel is over 2 mths in duration
  • If the condition has seen you hospitalised in the last 12 mths
  • Grommets – if they have been inserted less than 2 mths before travel
  • Any condition that is not being/able to be controlled through medication
  • Some insurers wont insure anyone who has suffered any form of head/neck trauma

Stay tuned we will look into this further as this is an important issue now that more families are no longer divided just by Cook Strait but also by the Tasman Sea, and we should be able to take our children regardless of their needs to visit family… even if it’s just to Australia!


Molly - post surgery: August 2002

The new fundraising campaign by CCS is aimed at highlighting what a day in the life of a mother of child with disabilities is like. Regardless of the level of disability, all mothers of Special Needs children can identify with the idea portrayed within the campaign, that life for mums like us,  is different to those with ‘normal’ children – even if you have ‘normal’ children too! Many of us just get on with life and deal with it, we don’t complain and we don’t love our children any less! For some mums it isn’t just one Special Needs child they look after, they may have two or more.


  1. Sleeping in means getting up at 7.30
  2. An early morning means being woken up before 5am
  3. Have forgotten what a real night sleep is supposed to be.
  4. Will often the know the names of the nurses at the hospital
  5. The Dr’s at A&E know you by name
  6. Become good at learning the ‘local dialect’ of your house and often helps in understanding the ‘local’ dialects of other families houses too!
  7. Realise how precious life is and treasure every moment
  8. Think about taking time out for ourselves….. but never do!

Molly @ RDA, 2009

To donate visit: Make a Mothers Day

It’s a rainy day here, perfect for staying inside and staying warm! Here are some fun things that you can do to keep the kids amused!

  1. DVD’s – are always are sure-fire winner no matter how old you are! Snuggle up on the couch and put on your favourite DVD and blob the day away. For some added fun make some popcorn – popcorn makers are always fun to watch and much safer than doing it on the stove and healthier than Microwave popcorn.
  2. Make a Tent – My kids loved to do this when they were little. Grab some chairs, blankets and make a tent. Send them in with their toys and pillows for lots of imaginary fun!
  3. Go Online – There are lots of really fun game sites out there for kids of all ages and most of them are educational too! With basic Alphabet and keyboard tapping(banging) games to more complex role-playing games (RPG) and games based on their favourite TV Shows like Dora and Thomas the Tank Engine!
  4. Craftastic – If you don’t mind the mess, get out the glue and paint and have some fun making art! Wether they are just painting pictures or making stuff, it can be a fun way to while away the rainy days. You can even go online and get ideas on what to make!
  5. Get out Ye Olde Board Games – There are board games for most ages and adjust rules to suit the abilities of your kids if necessary. Also don’t forget the good old pack of cards, maybe you could teach your kids how to play snap or go fish. Plus they are great for helping with maths and developing turn taking skills and for the older kids the can practise their reading by reading out the rules of the game!

Online Links

Nick jr – for all your favourite preschool shows on Nickelodeon. Includes games and printable crafts and activities.

Playhouse Disney – For games and activities to do with Playhouse Disney Shows.

Cbeebies –  Games and activities for shows produced/shown on BBC for the younger set.  You can even watch your favourite songs or shows!

CBBC –  Same as above but for the slightly older kids!

Bitesize – BBC developed site for educational games aimed at primary school kids! Now they were playing some of these games in my daughters class this morning and they were having a great time!

Fisher Price – For the littlies and not so little, this site has games for all abilities from keyboard thumping to phonic recognition games!

Blogging has become the new way to get information and to share information in the modern world. But of course you already know that because you are already reading this. But what about other blogs on issues to do with Special Needs, Health Issues and Disabilities? Well if we find them we will post them here so that you can also go check them out for yourself!

NB: The views contained within these blogs does not represent anyway the views of Hands Up! Information contained within them may not apply to New Zealand or replace advice given to you by your healthcare professionals.

Gluten Free Health – Blog is written/maintained by a company that produces gluten-free bread and has interesting information and tips on a GF Lifestyle.

Celiac Chicks – US based.

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs – US based blog on ideas and resources for teaching kids with profound or complex learning needs.

Adventures in Raising a Disabled Child – One family’s journey

Cerebral Palsy Baby – Juggling being a WAHM and mother to a Special Needs child

Danieldoo – One family’s journey with Aspergers, Diabetes and Multiple Scelorisis

It has become apparent that when it comes to special needs and medical conditions that Travel Insurance is not always an easy area to navigate. You might be covered by a company for one trip but the next time they might refuse you, making the whole process extremely frustrating and time-consuming.

We are going to look at this over several posts looking at things like the wording of policies between different companies, the extra cost involved if medical assessments/certificates are required before taking out a policy, personal experiences with different companies and what to do if you feel that you or your child has been unfairly declined medical coverage.

If you have had any experience with getting travel insurance for you special needs child, whether its good or bad then we would love to hear from you! The only stipulation is that the insurance must have been taken out with a NZ travel insurance company.

Do you or a member of your family rely on electricity to keep their medical equipment going, such as oxygen pumps etc and are you prepared for when the electricity goes out?

Make sure you contact your electricity supplier and let them know.

For more information:

Genesis Energy

Contact Energy

Trust Power

Mercury Energy



Also talk with your health care provider or equipment supplier about what else you can do to ensure that when the power goes out, you still keep on going!

Fine Motor Skills

Educational Experience - $22 (NZD)

Being able to cut with scissors is one of the hardest things to learn and if you have fine motor issues it can make it a very frustrating process to learn, so why not make it fun! The Klutz range have lots of different activity style books and kits for all ages that will help with fine motor co-ordination, sequencing and motor planning, with the added benefit of being fun and a tangible reward at the end!

Educational Experience - $32 (NZD)

This also helps with fine motor co-ordination with the added satisfaction of a lovely picture to hang on your child’s wall. My daughter has one similar with mermaids and has enjoyed spending 10 mins here and there just plodding away at them. They also help re-enforce number recognition using both numbers and colours to help match up the appropriate coloured foam tiles.

Educational Experience - $15 (NZD)

Also great for fine motor co-ordination, but can also be good for helping children with language issues to understand how items, people etc fit into different categories. In this one they can learn about the different things that can be found in a hospital. It can also be used to develop stories or get a child accustomed to  a hospital environment, to make it less scary.

All products can be found online  at Educational Experience or at their Retail Stores – see their website for details.

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