Tag Archives: Special education

Social Skills in a Mainstream School

My seven year-old son has been attending a mainstream school for about three months. He spent the first two years of his schooling at a Special School. When his academic and social skills had advanced to a point where that … Continue reading

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Mainstreamed

My son spent the first two of his school years at a Special School. That was where he needed to be. That was where he learnt the skills, and received the immense support that was necessary to get him to … Continue reading

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Forced to Choose Between Therapy and Education.

There are certain skills required for learning, that need to be actively taught to children like my son: Skills that are taken for granted in most “normal” children, and therefore skills that are not a natural part of the curriculum … Continue reading

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Accessing Services for Special Needs in NZ; The Brick Wall Around A Mirage.

“The families with the greatest needs are the ones without the help.” The above is a quote from a Principal of a Special Needs School in New Zealand, in a recent news story on the death of yet another autistic … Continue reading

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The M-Word.

I went to my son’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting a few days ago. Just me and his head teacher. I was expecting an update on progress towards meeting past goals, which I got. I was expecting a discussion of … Continue reading

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The Slap of National Standards; How National Standards Made Me Cry.

My son attends a special school, in both senses of the word: It is for special needs students, and it is an amazing school in its own right, staffed by caring, dedicated, highly trained teachers and therapists. I love his … Continue reading

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Sitting Exams in the Dark: The Growing Problem with Special Assessment Conditions

Imagine yourself sitting at a desk in a large hall with hundreds of other students. You’re about to sit an important exam, the results of which are very likely to impact on your future education and employment prospects. Everyone is … Continue reading

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Of Angels, Parenting Coaches, Expectations, and Abnormalities (aka, a shh vs a mouth slap)

This is a tale of contradictions, expectations, and of trying not to laugh in the face of a parenting coach. It eventuates in a lesson about how parenting an autistic child has impacted on the way I parent his younger … Continue reading

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Campbell Live’s “Struggling through the system,” and the NZ Education System (+ poll)

Tonight, the current affairs show “Campbell Live,” produced yet another story about the education system here in New Zealand letting down children with special needs. The story is entitled “Struggling through the system.” It is about a 13-year-old girl who … Continue reading

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How inclusive do NZ schools think they are? Looking at a 2012 ERO progress report

Back in 2010, the ERO (the New Zealand Government’s Education Review Office) released a Report that found only half of New Zealand schools demonstrated “mostly inclusive practices for students with high needs.” Subsequently, the Government came up with a policy … Continue reading

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