Here we will post inspiring stories we come across, bits and bobs we might write and tips. Just click on the text in blue to view the item.
If you have something to share about someone you know with special needs and/or learning difficulties who has inspired you or has made you proud and you’d like to share it, please email email@example.com so we can include it on this blog page.
- Uniquely Me poem – a poem I wrote for my autistic son to read at poem/speech time at school, click on the title to read the poem.
- My letter to people we have come across – This comes from positive and negative interactions with people who either understand or don’t understand/don’t care about my son’s autism. I thank people for what they have done and I say what I wish I could have said to others who have been far from nice, things that I wish I could have said if only they would listen and understand. Click on the title to read the letter.
- How music changed this autistic boy’s life – an article about how much music therapy means to an Auckland autistic boy. Read the article and watch the video of him and his music therapy teacher perform at a special needs fundraiser. http://www.nowtolove.co.nz/parenting/family/music-therapy-33251
- Radio GAGA – Disabled people are creating a radio space for topics that affect and interest them. Supported by the Renaissance Group, this show is by, for and about disabled people and covers current global and community affairs. They explore housing and transport, successes in employment, education, and regularly review the city with a view to accessibility and sociability. http://www.planetaudio.org.nz/radio-gaga
- GoodNews Network – GoodNews Network has lots of great stories about good things going on in the world. Here are a couple of stories about self-employed Down Syndrome individuals.
- A 20-year-old with Down Syndrome becomes the youngest business owner in town this weekend during the grand opening of a venture that combines his two favourite passions – people and snow cones https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/young-man-syndrome-ignores-naysayers-opens-business/
- .An Australian woman who was born with Down Syndrome and a mild form of autism has built a business based on her low level of reading comprehension. It turned out that Emma Lynam is the perfect person to trust with destroying your sensitive documents. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/she-starts-thriving-business-based-on-an-inability-to-read/
- Inclusiveness in school – Not long after my son first got his diagnosis I had a job working as a teacher aide at a primary school across town. During the time I was there, the junior syndicate put on a junior showcase night where each class put on a singing item. I was saddened to hear teachers in the staffroom talking of how the hid their special needs students at the back or how they ruined the class item. I wondered if that was how it would be when my son started in his mainstream school. I’d like to say proudly that it wasn’t. When my son’s school has put on shows or items my son has been treated like any other class member and included as such, not hidden away. For one show my son was front of stage with others in his class and simply had a buddy helping him with what he needed to do. As a result I had other parents tell me how great it was to see my son being a part of things. That made me proud and to me, it’s what inclusion is about, it doesn’t have to be perfection. – Angela Stanfield
- Celebrating what individuals can do – Last year I organised a school fundraiser to raise funds to pay for parents going to school camp to support their children with special needs or high needs. We put on a performance night. Our performers included kids with special needs or disabilities, people who have a family member with special needs, supportive children from the school and the Auckland band “Don’t call me Shirley” who play for charity. We had a great night and it was lovely to see those who face daily challenges shine, showcasing what they can do and do well and have the support of our local community. Yes, we raised enough funds and the kids and parents had a great time at camp, once again being included alongside their mainstream peers. – Angela Stanfield
- Employment – Here’s a link to a radio interview about getting people with Autism into the workforce. A great initiative. www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201842452/getting-people-with-autism-into-work
- Employment – Link to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (NZ) – Support for hiring disabled people
- Coping Strategies for Carers – this link is on an Australian site about Alzheimer’s carers but I think the information is relevant for anyone looking after someone with high needs – http://www.memoryloss.org.au/caring_for_caregivers/coping_strategies.aspx
- Shaving Autistic Males – Here’s a link to a youtube clip showing how a carer can shave a male’s face. It touches on what to do if the male is slightly bothered by the noise of an electric razor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxa7onD9aTA . I read somewhere else that before you get to the stage of having to use a razor that it’s good to get the male used to the feel of the razor and the noise first for a few sessions before you actually start shaving.