Autism & Oughtisms

Dealing with the endless "oughts" of parenting and autism.

Latest articles

So long, and thanks for all the clicks :)

This is my last blog post. There are a number of reasons I’m moving on, that have been impacting me for a while and have now become too overwhelming to continue this blog (nothing too scary – I’m OK!). But just because I’ll no longer be blogging here doesn’t mean I’ll stop advocating and rallying and speaking up for our children and the autism community...

The Two Directional Adaptions of Autism Parenting, and the Challenge of Schooling

Parenting is challenging; parenting an autistic child is even more challenging; parenting two autistic children is … you get the idea. I’ve been thinking about why it continues to be so hard even after I’ve got into the groove of choosing and implementing appropriate interventions for both my kids as issues arise, and why it’s still so hard despite...

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 words and acronyms … piled on a little boy who just wants to play with his Lego. Teachers find the listed...

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, and that autistic children are notoriously drawn to water; add in the fact that many autistic children struggle...

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

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 of the number and depth of challenges ahead, and that sinking feeling of, “Where do I start!?” Gross motor, fine motor,...

Understanding the cuts to IDEA autism services * UPDATED *

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 by IDEA services (the services arm of the sizeable and respected charity, IHC). Clearly, some autism...

Revelations

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 and still be an effective mother and advocate for my son. It was a long and unpleasant transition, with a fair few breakdowns and personal crises...

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

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 to four schools, the other to three, between them they’ve been to five different schools, including private and public, special...

We Stand Together, or We Fall Apart

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 is not given necessary supports to access and take part in education, that affects not just that child and their...

Seclusion versus Time Out, and Alternatives

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 fore in light of recent national controversies, and the anticipated policy from the government on seclusion and restraint practices in schools. I...

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