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Early years counselling service

Counselling services provide a confidential space where people can work through difficulties and explore changes they would like to make. For children in our Early Years Service, who would be too young for talk therapy, Ko Taku Reo can contract an outside Play Therapist that would work through difficulties through play. Play Therapy allows children to explore difficult feelings in a number of different ways – through imaginative play, role play, art, puppets, sand, music, or however the child chooses.

Counselling could also be offered to parents of Early Years children and is often short-term and can focus on stress, anxiety, anger, life decisions, relationships, and a range of other emotions or situations.


Our practice is guided by:

  • The Values fro New Zealand Association of Counsellors
  • Ko Taku Reo, Deaf Education New Zealand school values
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Partnership
  • Autonomy
  • Responsible caring
  • Personal integrity
  • Social justice

New Zealand Association of Counsellors

  • A strong commitment to Deaf bi-lingual and bi-cultural practice
  • Valuing Deaf cultural norms
  • Provide students with an environment where they can Belong, Grow, Choose, Excel
  • Access to resources and services students need to be happy and engaged learners
  • To have opportunities to be their best and become confident leaders of their own lives

Ko Taku Reo School Values

How to access the service

  • If anyone from a child’s existing team has noticed that they need support around emotional, mental health, behaviour or well-being, they can refer to our counselling/play therapy service. This can be done by filling in the integrated services referral form.
    Referrals can only be accepted if whānau has given consent for the referral.

    If this referral is an emergency and cannot wait for a referral form to be responded to, please email directly to Paul Scammell, Integrated Services Lead at

  • You will receive an email receipt of your referral and a team member may contact you to gather more information, if needed. The referral will be accepted or declined, and this will be communicated to the referrer and their team.

  • A team member will contact the learner’s team, including whanau, the learner, teachers and other professionals.

    By connecting with whanau, the team member will gain consent and begin the assessment processes.

  • Assessment will be carried out using formal (e.g. tests) and/or informal (e.g. observation) methods. Whānau and team members are central to this process.

  • Assessment findings will be used to determine the level of support for the learner and their team. The councellor will then work with the learner’s team, including teaching staff, their whānau and the learner, to co-construct a Support Plan. The Support Plan will have clear learning goals and an agreed time frame. The time frame will include review points for the support being given.

  • At review meetings, the team will decide on criteria that will show that the child’s Support Plan is complete.

    When the criteria have been met, or the team has agreed that the Support Plan is complete for a different reason, then the team will organise a Next Steps meeting.

    At the Next Steps meeting, progress will be reviewed, and final recommendations will be discussed before the child’s Support Plan is closed.

    The child may be re-referred to the Ko Taku Reo Counselling service in the future, if anyone from the child’s team (existing or new) identifies further need.