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Access: Safe schools for everyone

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  • Sacha,

    Thank you, Catherine. From the select committee link:

    The closing date for submissions is Friday, 2 October 2015

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Catherine. Autism probably affects a lot more than 40,000 people. That is a conservative figure based on old overseas data estimating a 1% prevalence rate. I am interested in the 13,000 number of people 2-14 diagnosed on the spectrum. I am not sure where that figure comes from as no diagnostic statistics are kept. That might be the number seeking services? What we do know is that most of them will not get any targeted support through ORS funding. We also have no figures for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Those with this condition are very likely to need significant educational support. So although this inquiry seems limited to just three conditions it is important that education is inclusive for all our NZ kids in all their diversity. Perhaps 20% will need some kind of extra support to access the teaching and learning to reach 'the fullest extent of their powers'.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Malcolm,

    Good stuff Catherine. I have 2 grandkids who have those sorts of difficulties. They go to state schools and their parents had to go outside the schools and pay to get the kids assessed and treated. It shouldn't happen that way. The kids were lucky that their parents could afford to take that approach when the state system did nothing

    Tauranga • Since Mar 2015 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    From my experience, private schools don’t necessarily have the answer either, in spite of the supposedly smaller class sizes. My folks knew I was different, but they kept misdiagnosing it throughout my school life. They've finally understood, but they’re now retired and are unable to help much.

    And it’s the same issue as far as support for underemployed autistic adults is concerned. Supported employment agencies like Workbridge and Emerge seem to have had too much staff turnover to be of meaningful help.

    In the absence of Specialisterne and Aspiritech setting up a NZ branch, I’m very much coming to the conclusion that a trade apprenticeship approach is best for those who face barriers in the job market. What it needs now is a good supply of investment and political will. And the forthcoming ICT Graduate School completely misses the point.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Berinthia Binnie,

    Forgive me, I am cynical about this whole process.

    I have an ORRS funded child, so am familiar with the intricacies of this whole scenario.

    The powers that be are fully aware of what is needed to have truly inclusive education. What is missing is the will to make it happen. Families, students and schools know exactly what is needed and would do well under individualised funding.

    Unfortunately....there is an entire industry built up around these children. An elaborate job creation scheme with precious little benefit to the children and workers at the sharp end in schools. If you want to know where to trim the fat off, look into the impotent Special Education Services.

    I made a lengthy submission to the last review a few years back. I wont be contributing to this one. A talkfest is not required. Less rhetoric and more implementation needed.

    Special Education Services is a clusterf**k at best and a fraud at worst.

    Since Sep 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Thank you, Catherine. Access to education is such a vital part of equality.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    So many things wrong with all of this. From my perspective as a parent, the barriers to assessment (cost, geographical, waiting lists, special conditions) are multiple and mean only the most severe cases are even recognised as perhaps needing assessment, let alone being able to access it.

    The systemic underfunding acts as a deterrent and minimises the number of children being assessed, let alone getting the assistance they need.

    Auditory Processing Disorder has been farmed out into a separate working group, which is infuriating given my son is unable to even access full assessment in Christchurch. The Canterbury DHB is legally meant to provide assessment for APD, but it does not. When he is fully assesssed (in Auckland), he will not qualify for equipment - which comes from the Ministry of Education via his school - because he has no other learning or behavioural disorder: one debilitating condition alone is not enough.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to ,

    That’s three different things.

    Three different things that are known to be co-morbid in the psych community.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    co-morbid

    = happen together

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    The systemic underfunding acts as a deterrent

    exactly as intended.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    exactly as intended.

    Yet another case of survivorship bias dictating policy.

    I dread the possibility of a special needs kid who falls through the cracks, and grows up to do an Adam Lanza. And were that to happen, those in positions of power would probably make the walls of Rome thicker and taller, instead of properly fixing the problem.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to ,

    Which is to say, the total number of people affected by any one of these conditions will be somewhat less than the sum of the three totals. But since these estimated totals are ballpark figures, and probably conservative underestimates, and any one of those figures would justify a report, it shouldn't affect the strength of the case.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to ,

    These are all estimates, probably based on overseas studies. We don't have any definitive NZ data. Some people might have more than one of these conditions - again no idea how many. Co-morbid is the scientific term but it is generally disliked by those to whom it may apply.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to ,

    Just pointing out that words can be loaded with negativity when associated with disability. Also that numbers and diagnoses are contestable as knowledge and understanding changes. Hopefully, an outcome of this inquiry will be some effort to get some real NZ statistics. I am going to put that in my submission.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    One other problem with “co-morbidity” (which if we unpack its evidential base, is a greater than expected probability of individuals diagnosed for one condition to meet diagnostic criteria for other conditions) is that observed non-independence of co-occurrence in diagnosed individuals still might not indicate any actual correlation (let alone causal connection) in the occurrence of those conditions.
    Having another condition makes it harder to compensate for a condition, which means you’re more likely to present for diagnosis in the first place, and also means that a diagnosis of any one condition is more likely if someone is also affected by another condition. Even more so if those conditions have similar effects (so that their diagnostic criteria overlap).

    Which is a rather long-winded way of explaining why the term co-morbid is used instead of correlated.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to ,

    Steven, thanks for your comments and I do hope you send something into the committee. Date for submissions closes on Friday. What I suggest you do is that you write something very brief to the committee via the parliamentary website before that. You can then ask to make an oral submission and then you have a chance to talk to the committee in person in a few weeks' time, or you can also send in further information. Just register your interest by 2 October and then you are in the system.

    In defence of my old school friend Catherine. It is a great victory for an opposition member to get such an inquiry as the government holds the majority on select committees so it is unusual such an opposition request is taken up by the committee. The government members would have limited and defined the terms of reference which is not as wide as some as us would like, so Catherine is encouraging people to tell their stories about any aspect of special education. She has been very busy in the last couple of weeks encouraging as many people as possible to submit to the committee so probably why she hasn't commented on the thread here..

    Mainly because of her work the Greens had the most developed policy on inclusive education at the last election. However, National's simple policy of 800 more teacher aide hours got a lot more publicity. Labour's Chris Hipkins has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes too. The whole area of special education is very complex and even the language is contestable - eg special v inclusive.

    So keep at it. The committee will learn a lot from hearing about your experiences.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Kirsty Johnston from the Herald has done some great journalism on this issue. Here is her latest contribution

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    In defence of my old school friend Catherine. It is a great victory for an opposition member to get such an inquiry as the government holds the majority on select committees so it is unusual such an opposition request is taken up by the committee.

    Such a pity your old schoolmate couldn't continue her high profile advocacy on behalf of family carers and request, nay demand, a select committee (or higher) inquiry into the PHDAct (2) and the abominable Funded Family Care.

    There is a plethora of statistics and documentation to support such an inquiry, not to mention a HRRT Decision AND two High Court Decisions AND two Appeal Court Decisions that clearly show the Government has blatantly trampled roughshod over disabled people and their family carers' rights. Then there's the UN Monitoring Committee's report....

    And justified this breach of NZBORA and the HRA using false and misleading data.

    So, Catherine...if you're reading this....send me a text/email and I'll be happy to put together a package for you to present to the Health Select Committee.

    I am now completely cynical about such initiatives.

    PS...what happened to IHC's complaint to the HRRT re: special education?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Catherine isn't on Health select committee so has no influence there unfortunately. The IHC complaint continues its slow progress through the legal system. They are not happy about delays http://www.ihc.org.nz/campaigns/education-complaint/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    Done!

    Well done!

    For what its worth....reading your comments over the past few days, your 'cut and paste' option would be fine....plus...Hilary's right....an oral submission to the SC from you would carry much weight.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Berinthia Binnie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    cut and paste’ option would be fine…

    Too true Rosemary, and on that note I have cut ‘n’ pasted my submission from the last review and resubmitted it to the committee. Everything I wrote last time is still live so where is the harm in repeating myself……

    That said, it is just a talkfest. The CYF’s enquiry has hit the nail on the head. The bureaucracy eats the money while the frontline starves.

    Since Sep 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Berinthia Binnie,

    The bureaucracy eats the money while the frontline starves.

    Hah! And here I am taking timeout from writing an official complaint about our NASC.

    We have had an uncomfortable relationship with this bureaucracy for some years.

    Finally come to a head.

    So its onto 'word' and yet another letter that no-one will really read.

    So, we will 'cut and paste' from some of the many other letters we have futilely writ over the past....shit...nearly a decade, and 'insert' most recent issue in the appropriate place.

    Well, maybe not in the _most_ appropriate place....but in the text, somewhere.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Kirsty Johnston from the Herald has done some great journalism on this issue. Here is her latest contribution

    I hope she's not in for the chopping block.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I hope they realise her value and how widely respected she is.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Berinthia Binnie,

    Well, maybe not in the _most_ appropriate place….but in the text, somewhere.

    Yes indeedy, if you didn't laugh you would cry ; )

    Since Sep 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

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