Screening for neurodiversity

A Queenstown charity supporting neurodiverse kids has launched a school screening programme to tie in with internationally-renowned
Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

Set up two years ago, Pivotal Point Charitable Trust helps the estimated 20% of kids who are neurodiverse — a term embracing those who have alternative thinking styles including dyslexia, autism and ADHD.

Pivotal Point’s programme will screen for those with literacy issues and auditory and visual processing issues.

‘‘The screening is to actually detect if there is an issue that could be affecting a child’s ability to learn, at an early stage, before their struggles affect their confidence and self-esteem,’’ charity founder Lisa Leftley says.

‘‘It will help schools recognise those who need more support and enable them to focus their teaching on specific areas that are particularly challenging for each child.’’

Thanks to Impact100 Wakatipu funding, Pivotal Point’s started delivering professional learning development programmes to local schools.

This is to help teachers understand what neurodiversity is, and how they can practically help neurodiverse students.

Once that’s delivered, schools can then get on to screening kids, Leftley says.

She suggests parents attend any screening programme in formation session that’s held at their child’s school.

Pivotal Point launched the Pivotal Point pledge during last year’s Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

It aims to financially support families with neurodivergent kids access essential assessments and referrals — donations are welcome at

Meanwhile, Pivotal Point runs a parent support group at Remarkables Park’s Te Atamira on the first Tuesday of every month, 9.15am-10.45am.

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