Ko ngā whakamāramatanga mō te hunga FASD | Information for Individuals with FASD

Facebook Group for people with FASD – join us now!

Did you know you have your very own Facebook page where you can connect with others in Aotearoa who have FASD? It can be really helpful to connect with others who know exactly what life is like for you, and it's a great way to make new friends who 'get it'. 

Click here to find out more...

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Me and my FASD

Based in the UK, this website is full of ideas to help you understand and own your FASD diagnosis – and your uniqueness!

It’s written with advice from adults and young people who have FASD, along with a whole team of whānau and experts. Check it out here – and don't forget to watch some of the YouTube videos...

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Anxiety Helpline in NZ

If you have have felt anxious about life (and who hasn't!) you'll know it can be a horrible experience. Did you know that there's a 24 hour, seven days a week helpline available that you can call? It's completely free and confidential. 

If you need immediate help call 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) or check out their website for some tips and tools on how to cope with feeling anxious. (Please note that calls between midnight and 8am are for emergency calls only.)

Click here to go to the website

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Changemakers at FASD-CAN Hui

On October 29, at the FASD-CAN Hui 2022, we had a live Zoom session with three member of the Adult Leadership Collaborative (ALC) of the FASD Changemakers – a global group of adults with FASD who want to change the way the world sees those affected by FASD. 

These women are smart, they are great talkers and they are determined to make their lives the best they can be.

The session was inspiring – it shows that people with FASD have the same dreams, needs and desires as everyone else but they just need a bit of extra help to get there. 

Watch the video – it may change the way you think about having FASD!


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Te Tiaki Kare-ā-roto Managing Emotions

If you have FASD, it can really help to understand your feelings and emotions – but this can be hard. You may first need some ways to figure out WHAT you're feeling.

Below you'll find some information about how to identity and work with your emotions – and how to then change the outcome!

1. Notice and identify your emotions

To be able to work with strong emotions, you must first have a way to recognise exactly what you are feeling. That feeling can then be named and 'rules' for appropriate reaction to that feeling can be made. 

  • The first step is noticing that you are starting to feel stressed – the earlier you can realise that you may be heading towards an emotional blowup, the easier it can be to stop it in its tracks.

  • Stop and think about what you're feeling; for example, a fast-beating heart, sweaty hands, hot face. Make a connection with those physical feelings to the meltdown so you can try and remember what feelings are connected to which behaviours.

  • Always name emotions very clearly. Get help from a family member or friend if you need it! With teens and adults, name the emotion first and then follow with the words your friends might use (say 'angry' or 'pissed off').

  • To clarify your emotions, try using an outline drawing of a person, make copies of it and keep them handy - one person for each different page / emotion. Decide on some simple colour codes e.g. a red head for anger, blue for sad, yellow for happy, and grey for blank. You could draw faces on them too – like emojis!

    Colour the outline in with the colour of your feelings – this can give you a quick and immediate idea of the state of your emotional health. This might help, especially when you are not able to describe your feelings.

Here are some outlines you can use to colour in, and a 'feelings chart' you can print out. Click on the images below to download and print – you can print multiple copies. You could make a booklet in a file and keep your feelings pictures in there. 


2. Express your feelings – the right way

If you have identified that you are:

  • Stressed and may be about to have a meltdown, use 'calm down' techniques. Leave the situation, take yourself away to a quiet place or outside in nature, do some breathing techniques, maybe lie down and listen to music.

  • Tired – lie down and rest, listen to some music or a story.

  • Frustrated – have a list of physical activities you can do – keep it handy on the fridge or in your room.

  • Angry – express it physically in an acceptable and safe way – punch a cushion or rip up some newspaper!

  • Sad – talk to a family member or friend about how you feel – a hug can make everyone feel better.

REMEMBER: the first thing to do is NOTICE how you are feeling, then STOP AND THINK how to deal with those feelings!

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Te whakahaere pūtea Money Management

How often do you run out of money for kai?  How often do you seem to owe money to people, and not be able to pay them back. Are you unable to pay your bills? If you find managing your money difficult, you are not alone.

It is a relatively common problem for people with FASD, and it is all to do with the way your brain works. However, there are things you can do to manage your money better.

Why it's hard to get your head around money

  • Children and teens with FASD often have trouble with abstract concepts such as money. Although you can touch money and hold it in your hand, the value of it and the worth of items are ideas that can be hard to get a grip on!

  • As an FASD individual it's pretty common to ‘live in the moment’ – you may not always think about past mistakes or future consequences of your actions as these concepts are hard to think about, too.

  • It's also tricky to remember that a certain amount of money must last a certain amount of time. Making an impulsive purchase without thinking about what other, more important things you might need to buy is common – but try to avoid it! 

Strategies to use to use your money wisely

  • Learn about handling money in real places: go shopping with a parent or friend and practice choosing items at the grocery store, calculating the total, and buying the items.

  • Remember to ask a parent or caregiver before selling or buying things to people who might not have your best interests to avoid losing money and/or possessions.

  • Have an allowance each day/week/month that is broken up into smaller payments for certain things.

  • Plan out exactly where the money should go, write it down, and check in with a parent or caregiver.

  • Practise using money at home to match sums of money with the value of clothing, groceries, etc.

  • If you're a bit older, get help on learning to budget and practice planning for monthly bills to help remember about time and money concepts.

  • Get a person you trust to help keep track of your expenses, when you owe money, and when and what you spend your money on.

  • It can be great to get help setting up automatic payments for any payments that need to happen every month such as rent if you are living independently. 
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Leaving school, tertiary education and work

... or going to university – or doing an apprenticeship! The thought of leaving school and heading out into the big wide world to university or work can be exciting – but also a little scary or overwhelming. 

Hopefully your school may have been helping you think about transitioning from school to a university or towards getting a job for a while now. Your parents or caregivers will be keen to help too, and guess what – even the government of NZ is keen to help you find work! 

The good news is that with the right support it is perfectly possible for you to achieve your goals. And there are plenty of very nice people out there who know it's going to be a bit harder for you to move towards your goals, and who are keen to help you make it work.

• Below is our list of Universities and Polytechnics around Aotearoa – we've made it easy for you by finding the disability support web-page and email for each of those we have listed.  

Click here to go to our list of Transition Programmes around the motu which can help you transition from school into work.


Tertiary Study 

If you're transitioning into tertiary education, all universities and other tertiary institutions in NZ have whole departments to look after students who may need learning support. It's now a legal requirement – make use of them as much as possible!

As a general guide, universities are more academic and polytechs learning programmes are a little more hands-on.

Our list of Universities is below

Click here to go to our list of Polytechs.



Auckland University Student Disability Services

Email: [email protected]

AUT Auckland University of Technology Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

Massey University Disability services

Email: [email protected] (same for all campuses)

Phone Auckland Campus: 09 213 6203

Phone Palmerston North Campus: 06 951 6171

Phone Wellington Campus: 04 979 3192 or 04 979 3193

Victoria University of Wellington Disability Services

Email: [email protected] 

University of Canterbury Disability Services

Email: [email protected]

University of Otago Disability support

Email: [email protected]


ARA – Christchurch: Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

EIT – Eastern Institute of Technology Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

• NMIT - Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

MIT – Manukau Institute of Technology Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

The Open Polytechnic (online learning) disability and access services

Email: [email protected]

Otago Polytechnic Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

Primary ITO – agriculture and horticulture Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

Service IQ – service industry training Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected] 

SIT  – Southern Institute of Technology Disability Support Services

Email – Invercargill / Queenstown / Gore: [email protected] 

Email – Christchurch: [email protected] 

Email - Telford: [email protected] 

TPP – Tai Poutini Polytechnic (West Coast) Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected] 

Toi Ohomai – Waikato and Bay of Plenty Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

Unitec Disability Support Services – Auckland

Email: [email protected]

UCOL – Universal College of Learning, Manawatu/Whanganui region Disability Support Services

UCOL Te Pūkenga Manawatū

Email: [email protected]

UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui
Email: [email protected]

UCOL Te Pūkenga Wairarapa
Email: [email protected]

WINTEC – Waikato Institute of Technology Disability Support Services

Email: [email protected]

WITT – Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (New Plymouth)

Email: [email protected]

Whitireia and Weltec – Porirua and Petone

Email: [email protected].


Finding a job – the right job for you

Around New Zealand there are some great Transition Programmes – these are all about helping you to move into employment, community services or other activities. They'll work with you, your family/whānau and your school to make the transition to adult life as easy as possible. Your planning will involve working through setting goals and developing skills and experiences to lead a purposeful and productive life after school. If you're already working, but want a different job, they can help with that, too.

There are some listed below, but there will be others in your area. 

National offices

Ministry of Social Development

There is general information on finding work, as well as self-development programmes, on the MSD page here.

If you have a disability or health condition (including a mental health condition or neurodiversity such as FASD), and you want to work, you can apply to join one of the MSD's 'Mainstream' programmes. They can help support you towards getting a long-term job. 

Mainstream programme

Workbridge – all over NZ

Workbridge has centres all over Aotearoa NZ – they work with you to figure out what kind of job you want and how to focus on your skills, not your disabilities.

Workbridge | Building a bridge over employment barriers

Emerge Aotearoa

This group have offices around the country and offer all kinds of helpful services including help with employment. 

Click here for more info.

CCS Disability Action

Also with offices around the motu, CCS Disability action can help with all kinds of things including finding a job and transitioning. Look for an office in your area.

Click here for more info.

APM - national offices

APM's Work Assist Health programme will help assess you for work, find a job and liaise with employers on your behalf. 

Employment Services for NZ Job Seekers - Let Us Help You Find a Job | APM NZ


Regional offices

Spectrum Care – Auckland and Wellington

Spectrum Care is based in Auckland with a branch in Wellington and can help with all kinds of respite care / holiday programms as well as transitions into work and housing.

Transition Support from school to work - Spectrum Care

Kia Roha / Your Way - Kirikiriroa / Hamilton

Transition Programme - from school to adult life.

Click here for more info.

Enrich Services – Waikato, Bay of Plenty and King Country – based in Te Awamutu

Supporting teens to find work.

Click here for more info.

Catapult Services - Canterbury

Catapult’s vision is for all people to have the opportunity to participate in paid employment, including those who live with a disability or health issue. They support employers, too. 

Click here for more info.


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Tūhono mai  | Become a member

Tūhono mai | Become a member

Sign up to receive more information such as relevant news or events – it’s free, there’s no requirement for input from you, and there are some great benefits built in. By joining FASD-CAN you’ll gain access to specific resources, advocacy, webinars and hui, and you'll be sent a free printed copy of our Handbook.

But even better – by becoming part of our team, you’d be helping us out. Staying informed and sharing information with others means you’ll be walking alongside us as we campaign for those impacted by FASD for the right to live their best lives.

Join us now!

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Ko ngā pūrākau a te hunga FASD | Stories from those with FASD

Caregiver and Whānau Support

If you have an individual with FASD in your whānau, you'll find a wealth of information, education, tips, strategies and real life stories here.


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Understanding FASD

It's important and empowering to find out as much as possible about how FASD can affect people. Click through to our 'Understanding FASD' page to skill up.


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