Category Archives: Resources for Parents

Drowning in Need: Autism and Swimming in New Zealand

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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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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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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Sesame Street’s “See Amazing” Autism Initiative Gets Everything Right

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Sesame Street’s new autism initiative hits it out of the park, but not everyone agrees. Continue reading

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Surviving the Ignorance and Indifference of the Bureaucracy.

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A reader recently asked me how I keep going in the face of the exhaustion and frustration of dealing with people who stand in the way of your child receiving adequate support and services. Her question had other facets to it … 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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Why you should refuse the SDQ as part of the “B4 School Check.”

The “B4 School Check” is an interview process that is meant to identify any issues a child may have before they begin school. The interview is done through a family’s usual GP, and includes forms that are filled out by … Continue reading

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Understanding and Reacting to “Non-Compliance:” A Letter to Teachers.

The following is a letter I have just written that I shall be giving to my son’s teaching team next week. He has attended a mainstream school since the start of this year, prior to that he spent two years … Continue reading

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Two Recommended Children’s Books on Autism, Inclusion, Friendship, and Facing Fears.

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I recently came into possession of two children’s books that are so delightful on so many levels, that I think they’re worth sharing. They are written by Bec Oakley (who is the well-respected author of the “Snagglebox” blog). Both books … Continue reading

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Gathering Autism DNA, Part Two: Researchers Respond.

First, some necessary background: Prior to writing my previous post, I had attempted to contact the researchers involved in the New Zealand study which is gathering autism DNA. After receiving no response for a few days, I had decided to … Continue reading

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