Hands Up!

  • Waikato University Students have developed an App for the ipad, that will help children with asthma better understand the triggers for an asthma attack….
  • A new fundraising initiative by Asthma NZ is; ‘Dance For Asthma’,  and they are encouraging schools, business’ and social groups to get involved…. see here for more details. Asthma Awareness week will be from 31 April – 6 May, with Balloon Day being held on Friday 4 May.
  • Purple Day is on the 26 March…. this is to help raise funds and awareness of Epilepsy. Please keep an eye out for Purple Day events in your area.


Japanese researchers have developed a robot that can help you locate lost (misplaced) items in your house…. While they don’t intend to make it at this stage for commercial development…. who can’t see the benefits that this might have for people/children with disabilities, especially those who are allergic to dogs.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/6506171/Japanese-robot-finds-lost-things


A petition has been handed into Parliament requesting that funding for closed caption tv be given so that deaf MP  Mojo Mathers can become more involved with parliamentary debates. This comes after Parliamentary Services said that she would have to fund her own staff to take notes for her…… Parliamentary Services sits in a couple of weeks where it is highly anticipated that they will allow for extra funding to be made available for her. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6493546/Petition-for-deaf-MP-tabled-at-Parliament


Research Articles:

Autism Mums  have stress levels to that of a combat soldier……. I can imagine there are many mums of autistic kids out there who would readily agree with this.

Changes are being made to how Autism (ASD)  will be diagnosed in the future, with a more strict criteria being looked at, which is worrying many groups in the USA, as to how this will affect those considered to be at the high functioning end of the scale. For many this could threaten the end of help within classrooms and other therapy services as they no longer meet the new criteria.  Many here in NZ are watching with interest and wondering how any changes made overseas, will affect the way in which the disorder is diagnosed here.


A first for NZ Politics when profoundly deaf MP Mojo Mathers gave her maiden speech to parliament. This has not been without controversy as arguments between the Green Party and Parliamentary Services occur over how much funding for extra assistance that MP Mathers should get to allow her to fully participate in Parliament. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6424224/Mojo-Mathers-gives-maiden-speech


An article in the NZ Herald has highlighted the issues that some parents of disabled children are facing in getting their children accepted into schools. Many parents are now looking into what legal action they can take against schools that discriminate against their child on the basis of disability. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/education/news/article.cfm?c_id=35&objectid=10786481


The Government has returned to court, to appeal a decision made last year that would enable those who cared for severely disabled family members the right to be paid for doing so. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/6411853/Caring-for-these-kids-a-job-for-life


The last 12 moths have been pretty hectic with moving towns and settling the kids into their new school, plus all the new activities that they have decided to do. But I’m back and will begin posting again over the next few days : )

The Library is a favourite place to visit in our house and when we last visited we found some new books had come in about explaining disabilities to kids.

MEDIKIDZ….. Comic Books

The one we got out was about Autism (though general enough to use if you have a child anywhere on the spectrum including Aspergers) and it was a really good read aimed well and truly at kids and would appeal to both boys and girls.

Extract from 'Medikidz Explain Autism'

They also have books on other topics such as ADHD, Type 1 Diabetes, Asthma and Epilepsy, just to name a few. On top of this they also have a website which can help explain terms used within the book, games and further information on the different disorders such as medical tests/medication etc. Just note that this is written by British Authors, so some content on the website may not relate to NZ.

This book is more for a child to read to themselves, as having tried to red out loud to my daughter (who decided she was too lazy to read it herself), it doesn’t flow as easily. Suitable for kids with a reading age of 6.5+ ( or reading Level 12/14+). We will be looking for other books in this series at our library, check to see if it is in yours and if not request it!

Another Book on Aspergers that we have read and have found to be quite informative, but easy to read out loud and written in a simple style that makes it suitable for children of most ages is “All Cats Have Aspergers” and at first glance you would assume that it is just another one of those books full of fuzzy warm pictures that wouldn’t really serve any purpose in explaining Aspergers. Well it does have fuzzy warm pictures but the text is very well written.

Well worth the read, especially if you need to explain Aspergers to younger siblings.

On Fishpond, they state the age for this book is 15+, but as I’ve stated the text is very simply written and would be good to use as a discussion point with younger siblings or the child themselves, from about 3+, and my 6yr old was able to read it quite easily on her own.

There is also another title in this series called “All Dogs Have ADHD“.

Therapy Products that are fun as well as useful. Some of these products may not be available in NZ.

Sensory Pod ~ for those kids that require pressure as a sensory input.

NZ Designed Wishbone Bike ~ Easter Bundle pack 🙂

Turtle moves forward as child wobbles to and fro.

Balancing Board - Seated.

  • Autism Advocates are pushing for more research to be done into developing a diagnosis of not just autism, but of autism with a history of wandering, to better enable support to be given to those families with kids who wander.
  • Studies on Co-ordination issues and children with Aspergers/Autism/ADD etc. In these studies they refer to it as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder, but in New Zealand a child is more likely to receive a diagnosis of Dyspraxia.
  • New research overseas is showing promising results in the treatment of Fragile X and Autism.

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