Author Archives: Autism and Oughtisms

Five (or Six) Diagnoses, Two Woo-tastic Communities, and an Eight Year Old Under a Pohutukawa Tree

My eight year old is collecting diagnoses like it’s going out of fashion. We’re up to five (with a sixth in contention). He has confirmed diagnoses of autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dysgraphia, anxiety, and potentially has ADHD. All these long, scary … Continue reading

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Drowning in Need: Autism and Swimming in New Zealand

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The ability to swim is particularly vital for autistic children, as they are 160 times more likely to drown than other children are. That shocking statistic is a result of many factors, including that about 50% of autistic children wander, … Continue reading

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“Choose Your Battles” (and dealing with those who didn’t get their copy of the battle plan)

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Autism never affects a singular aspect of a person, and from a parenting perspective the myriad of ways in which autism impacts on your child is overwhelming. When you first get your child’s diagnosis, it is followed by a realisation … Continue reading

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Understanding the cuts to IDEA autism services * UPDATED *

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This post has been updated, due to important new information being revealed during question time in parliament, on April 6th. There has been a flurry of concerning stories of late, about changes to the autism services, supports, and programmes provided … Continue reading

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Revelations

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When I was dragged into the world of disability by my eldest son, I was forced to confront a lot of new and uncomfortable truths – truths about people, about society, and about myself. I couldn’t stay who I was … Continue reading

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What to look for when choosing a school for a child with special needs, in NZ

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One of the most challenging, and most important, decisions we make as parents of young children with special needs, is where to send them to school. I have two children with various special needs. One of my children has been … Continue reading

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We Stand Together, or We Fall Apart

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There is a growing awareness in New Zealand that our education system is not delivering on basic obligations to a significant and vulnerable group of children. This failure of the system affects all of the country’s children: When a child … Continue reading

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Seclusion versus Time Out, and Alternatives

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Why is it so wrong for schools to use seclusion, how is it any different from time out, and is time out a good idea anyway – what are the alternatives? These are important questions, that have come to the … Continue reading

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Dental Fear or Dental Care

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My children’s dentist is a free dental clinic attached to a school that is about half an hour’s drive from home. It’s not close, it’s not convenient, and I could get free dental care for the kids directly through their … Continue reading

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Seclude, Exclude, and Excuse.

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What does it take, to justify putting a child in a small, empty, locked, dark “time-out” room in a school, when they’d otherwise be playing with their peers, or learning in the classroom? The answer you’ll get most often, from … Continue reading

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