We are a group of pro-active parents in the Dunedin area of New Zealand who have children with autism.

We are committed to helping organise and fundraise for intensive early interventions which help make easier the lives of affected children and their families.

News Archive

Here you will find all of our previous News articles that have been posted on the website.

April 15 2011

Young boy in Oamaru doing well with therapy

The Oamaru Mail recently printed this story about 4-year-old Ian Tacchini, who has been receiving ABA therapy and is reported as making really good progress. The ABA therapists are “using toys and technology, they teach children how to imitate, talk and work on their social behaviour and discipline.”

April 12 2011

Tony Attwood seminar in Dunedin in August

The well-known clinical psychologist and expert on aspergers syndrome, Dr Tony Attwood, is presenting a seminar called Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The Dunedin event is on Wednesday 17 August 2011, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, from 9.30am-3.30pm. He is also running the event in Invercargill and Christchurch.


September 30 2010

NZ Autism and Asperger's Awareness on Facebook

Great to see that there is a pretty newish Facebook page for New Zealand Autism and Asberger’s awareness. It isn’t clearly stated who is managing it. Being on Facebook they have the advantage of nice interconnectedness and probably a greater level of participation than on most blogs. The links included on the wall cover many different autism-related issues, and appear to all escape judgement or analysis, including those on more controversial topics like a connection between vaccinations and autism.

Update: instead, this other, more credible Facebook group dedicated to discussion of autism issues in NZ should be more useful. This one isn’t anonymous. it features a range of organised discussions and is recently and regularly updated. The content is public, and the among the group’s admininstrators are folks who are visibly involved in autism advocacy and services in NZ.

September 13 2010

Fundraising snarlers this weekend

Volunteers involved in the OCASG will be running the barbeque down at Mitre 10 Mega in Dunedin this Sunday. If you are out and about, stop by for a yummy sausage (we have mustard!) and meet some of the mums involved. 

June 24 2010

Really useful TIPS for autism in schools

Quite a few folks involved with the OCASG attended the 3-day TIPS for Autism course in Dunedin recently. These courses are run pretty regularly, and are funded by the ministries of education and health. The courses are really useful for developing strategies for kids with ASD to be happier and more equipped to learn in schools.

An important and nice feature of the courses are that they are team-focused. You are sitting for many hours, discussing and comparing ideas, with teachers, parents, teacher aides, ministry of ed staff, maybe ABA therapists or even the principal. Sounds tiring eh! And it is a big commitment for people in terms of time and childcare. But, the presentations are really good, the thinking is very empathetic and very up-to-date, and the material for discussion is nicely paced. It adds up to something pretty challenging, which is much more interactive and challenging than a conference or seminar. 

April 22 2010

feedback from Stress and Social Development Workshop

107 people from across the Otago region attended the Stress and Social Development Workshop run by the OCASG on March 13th in Dunedin (see posts below for more info). Parents, caregivers, teachers, teacher aides and other professionals took part in an extremely informative and fun day. Our presenters, Alison Schroeder and Justine Aldous (both of Christchurch) gave the audience a range of strategies and ideas to assist them with the ASD young persons they were either working or living with.  

Comments on the workshop included: 

"Great – practical ideas that are user friendly." 

"I found it really great, good ideas to practice with my son."

"Interesting animated presentation with clear explanations & practical ideas."

"Today was extremely valuable and very practical for our setting." 

"Excellent, informative & well placed presentation." 

The event was made affordable for many to attend thanks to the support of some local schools and kindergartens for a ‘Wacky Hair Day’ fundraising event during June 2009. Participating schools and kindys were each able to send 2 teachers/teachers aides or parents/whanau to the workshop free. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) for helping to make this day possible. 

If you would like to find out more about upcoming workshops our group is running, contact us now and we will keep your name for future reference, and let you know when we have course content and dates confirmed. 

March 07 2010

Reminder: upcoming workshop

The workshop on Stress and Social Development is next Saturday, March 13. 

The focus is on enabling people with ASD to cope with stressful situations and social development.

Here is the PDF with info about the presenters and topics to be covered.

We hope you can make it!


February 24 2010

National standards testing and students with autism

The new NZ national standards (for testing and reporting the attainment of primary school students) are being widely discussed in the media and in education circles. Hilary Stace posted this artlcle on the Humans website. In it, she considers whether the the focus of a system – which measures only literacy and numeracy – would be too narrow for kids with ASD. The author poses other questions, such as whether children with autism might become marginalised in a more competitive environment, and whether assessment and reporting can increase the quality of education for these children.

December 01 2009

Upcoming workshop – March 2010

Stress and Social Development: Enabling people with ASD to cope with stressful situations and social development.

Presented by Alison Schroeder and Justine Aldous.

13th March 2010 at Pacific Park, 22-24 Wallace Street, Dunedin, 9 - 3pm.

cost: $40 family, $60 Professional.

Please download the PDF for more info about this valuable event.

November 18 2009

Welcome to our new site!

We want to provide local people with better info, and help health and education professionals and policy-makers to better understand our stories. Please contact us with any suggestions or questions.
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