Category Archives: Therapies

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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Riding For The Disabled; A Mother’s Perspective.

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My eldest son attends “Riding for the Disabled;” where once a week he gets to ride a horse for an hour during school time, and I get to say he’s doing therapy. At least, that was my first impression of … Continue reading

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Put down that iPad, pick up that PECS box?

Everyday my Facebook feed is littered with the latest miracle stories of how an iPad (or similar device) has helped an autistic child to communicate. Some of those stories are shared from the web, but most of them are from … Continue reading

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ABA, Regrets, and a Question of Happiness.

ABA – Applied Behaviour Analysis – is a polarizing therapy in the autism community: For some it is the holy grail of treatment, for others it is an abusive practice. When we began an ABA playgroup with our autistic son … Continue reading

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Speech Therapy Gatekeepers

After my eldest son’s autism diagnosis, he was placed on a waiting list for various government provided services, including speech therapy. Getting past all the gatekeepers to an actual speech therapist who is there to help my child, was a … Continue reading

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Praise in Hindsight: Looking back on the therapists of his pre-school years

I was at once overwhelmed, and underwhelmed, by the help my son received for his autism in his pre-school years (from diagnosis at age three, to starting school at five years old). Overwhelmed, because I found myself swamped in so … Continue reading

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Changes to ABA recommendations in the NZ ASD Guideline

This post summarises changes to the recommendations about ABA (applied behaviour analysis), for the NZ ASD Guideline book published by the New Zealand government. (To see an introduction to the book itself, please refer to my previous post.) These recommendations … Continue reading

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Food rewards in therapies for autistic children

Food was used as a reward in both ABA (a type of behavioural therapy) and PECS (a system used for speech therapy) for my autistic son. In both situations I felt very uncomfortable with this type of reward, for a … Continue reading

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A Gut-Feeling about Autism

My own opinion of the relationship between autism and gut problems (based on research and extensive reading, rather than a “gut-feeling”), is that the two issues need to be approached separately: More specifically, that there is nothing inherent in autism … Continue reading

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To PECS, or not to PECS

I’ve always felt that the key to lessening the impact of autism on my son’s life, was speech therapy. (I’m not alone in that opinion, it is apparently the most used of all autism therapies). A good proportion of the … Continue reading

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