About Us | Mo Matou

Stories from Lockdown

The stories of challenges and successes of people making their own good lives during the Covid-19 Lockdown are now coming out.

Our senior leaders share these examples.

Altogether Autism

 width=A young Māori mum contacted us asking if her nearly 3-year-old was too young for an autism assessment. She first raised concerns with her GP when he was 12 months and has been raising them every few months ever since. Her GP said he was too young. She can’t afford to change GPs and feels anxious about being judged. Each time she went to the GP, she would leave bawling her eyes out. She hasn’t accessed any day care as she doesn’t want him to be misunderstood.

Our Live Chat agent provided her with some Ministry of Health/Ministry of Education Quick cards and information from the Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline, and then phoned her for moral support. This mum shared the information with her GP and in our agent’s words, dropped the “Altogether Autism” bomb (i.e. I can get some more information for you from Altogether Autism – they are autism specialists). Next minute, the GP has referred her for an autism assessment which should happen in the next two weeks. Very satisfying after two years of battling with her GP and feeling stuck.


Client Achievement During Lockdown

O is a young male who is supported by a foster carer in the community. O requires support and supervision in all aspects of his life.  Before the lockdown O had identified that he needs a job for when he finishes his secondary education.  O loves ambulances, so the two were put together to make ‘911 Coffee Co’.

O’s bubble consisted of him and his foster carer with no external support. Although lockdown was sometimes challenging, they worked together well to develop their small business.

O did up his coffee ambulance, with his carer helping him to understand the concept of managing money and customer service. Lockdown meant that O’s foster carer was able to spend quality one-on-one time teaching O these skills and building his confidence.

With some practice, O mastered brewing coffee and is now successfully selling coffee and other beverages from his coffee ambulance truck, which is located on the main street, as well as providing a delivering service twice a week to businesses.

While O does require constant supervision and oversight he has demonstrated his passion for making his coffee business a success.   O is at the heart of this new venture.

Client Achievement During Lockdown

AT usually attends a day programme where he plays board games, his strength being that of teaching others how to play chess. He had found it frustrating not going to the day programme, or into the school to teach the kids how to play chess. During Level 4, AT taught chess and played games with his family. AT had developed good teaching and gaming skills at the day programme, which enabled him to transfer them to teach his family. His mother, PK, saw a sense of pride in her son when he was teaching his family what he knew. He is returning to his day programme team as games and chess champion of Level 4 lockdown.

Client Independence Developed Through Lockdown

KF was receiving 7 hours of personal care support as he was struggling to maintain his hygiene and his wife was experiencing carer stress. During the lockdown, the family decided to support KF and stopped all formal supports. When contacted at Level 2, KF advised that during the lockdown, with the support of his family, he developed the ability to self manage his hygiene needs. KF now feels comfortable and able to shower daily independently. He has chosen to stop all personal care support and said it feels great being able to shower himself again.

COVID ‘Good News’ Story:

BK is the mother of a child who receives Disability Support Services who found it difficult trying to work from home during the COVID-19 lockdown period. As an essential worker, she also had to care of her children and support them in their online learning. In the home, there was only one modem to access the internet, with all three needing use of it for work and schooling. Life Unlimited gave BK contact details for an internet service provider, which enabled her to access a second modem. This made a cost-effective and significant difference in their lives during Covid-19, and it now continues positively.


An audiologist’s feedback to hearing therapists Susan and Jacqui for help she received from both of them regarding her flyer for auditory processing disorder – “fantastic and a big thank you for your help, I knew you would be the people to ask”.


One of our mothers thanked Ngā Mara Ātea – our Marae centred programme, for all their support through the levels. They live in rural North Waikato and not only has she got her son and his needs, she cares for her elderly mother with needs. The support the team were able to give the mother was such a blessing she has said to the daily face time calls to give him purpose to the deliveries of resources for him and kai donations that we were able to get from a local group.

An Enabling Good Lives client thanked Life Unlimited for their support with his staffing and ensuring that he was able to do what was right for him and his needs through lockdown. His usual staffing is 24/7 in his home and he didn’t feel safe with this the day before lockdown. Life Unlimited was able to get approval from Enabling Good Lives to pay his staff their rostered hours and then pay his family special payment to allow him to have his home shut down for four weeks. This has meant that his staff have felt looked after and have come back on board refreshed and he felt very safe knowing that his needs were met from his family and not having people coming and going.

Mobility Centre

 width=“After talking to you on Friday I cancelled the order that I had with another supplier because of their total lack of action. I then placed an order with you on Saturday with the expected delivery of Wed / Thurs or possibly later because of the present situation. It is now 11-30am Tuesday and the can opener has been received, batteries inserted and it is ready for use.

I find it unbelievable that your company has worked so quickly to supply this item. Because of the extraordinary service you supply, you can be sure that I will be dealing with you in the future.
All my very, very best wishes for you and your team.” – 21 April 2020

Peter, Auckland