Author Archives: Autism and Oughtisms

Medicating a Child for Autism. Part Two: People’s Reactions.

The reactions that people have had to my eight year-old son starting on medication, have been mixed and surprising. I want to start though with the reactions I had expected, based on what I hear very regularly on national radio talk-back … Continue reading

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Medicating a Child for Autism. Part One: The Decision.

My eight year-old son has recently begun taking medication aimed at easing some of his autism symptoms. This decision was a hard one, reached only after many years. It is also a controversial and widely misunderstood decision. I’m going to … Continue reading

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Autism rates are up? “That’s good!”

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I had the radio on while getting through the morning routine a couple of days back, when a story came on about the increase in autism diagnoses, sitting at about 1 in 68 is the latest figure out of the … Continue reading

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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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