Author Archives: Autism and Oughtisms

Individualism Disorder

I felt compelled to put this together after recent conversations I’ve had with professionals working with both my somewhat-abnormal children, and getting frustrated with people not recognising that someone can be an individual and have or not have a neurological condition. Similarly someone can have a neurological condition … Continue reading

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Guest Post on the Deeper Meaning of Exclusion

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Today I am honoured to share a guest post by a friend and fellow mother of a child with a disability. Antonia is mother to three children, including Max who has Down syndrome. Antonia’s experience of rejection in non-inclusive school … Continue reading

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Shame on Green Bay High School

I have been following the case of Green Bay High School excluding a student who has Aspergers and other special needs, a case that the school lost in the High Court. The school lost that case for very convincing reasons. … Continue reading

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Stand-down, Suspension, Exclusion, Expulsion; what do they mean and what are your rights?

A reader (and friend) recently asked me what rights someone has in New Zealand when they want to challenge a school’s decision about what to do about a student’s behaviour. In particular, she wanted to know about the processes and … Continue reading

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The “S” Word: Attacking and Defending “Special Needs.”

Lately when I use the term “special needs” – whether in my writing or my speech – I’ve been coming up against people who attack my use of the phrase. The arguments I encounter don’t come from a singular line … Continue reading

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What Rachel Smalley, and the public, doesn’t understand about mainstreaming special needs children.

Today a reader of my blog asked if I’d read a recent article written by Rachel Smalley, up on the Newstalk ZB website. The reader was not happy about what she read there, and having read it myself I also … Continue reading

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Disability Representation on School Boards of Trustees.

Here in New Zealand, legislation and the New Zealand School Trustees Association, (“NZSTA”) both encourage school boards of trustees to be representative of their community. Specifically, they advise that when a school board is seeking to co-opt or appoint new … Continue reading

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Blow Blow, Ear Ear, Hair.

Blow blow, ear ear, hair. Everyday, many times an hour, my son will blow on his left forearm, his right forearm, wipe the top of his left ear, his right ear, then run his hand across his hair. Again, again. … Continue reading

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Proving Disability; The Never-ending Story.

Getting a diagnosis of a serious disability from a specialist, is never the end of the story. It is not the final step to proving your child’s disability to the public and the Government, even though the diagnosis is the … Continue reading

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Turning Disability Rights Against The Disabled.

You’d think the topic of disability rights would be familiar to me, since rights were a recurring theme throughout my legal and philosophical training. Yet during those nine years at university, the topic rarely arose. We looked at the rights … Continue reading

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