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Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to our 2022 edition of the Journal. As I write this, Queen Elizabeth II has just died, the Covid 19 traffic light system has come to an end and Paula Tesoriero has been appointed chief executive of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People.
2021 – Authentically Autistic
Covid Brings Mixed Blessings – This is our first journal since 2019, with Covid providing all manner of interruptions and disruptions. But as we are all discovering, Covid has also brought opportunities. So we are doing some new things here at Altogether Autism. The first is our Autistics 4 Autistics (A4A) Zoom meetups.
2019 Issue 3 – Autism and the Future
Stories as gifts create meaning – I love stories. Steve Ballantyne, from Story IQ, ran a workshop at the recent conference on Strengthening Through Stories, hosted by Community Waikato. He described stories as gifts, with facts wrapped in emotions that create meaning. Positive stories release oxytocin, according to Steve, which is associated with empathy, compassion and connection. In this edition of our Journal, we are delighted to give you the gift of oxytocin, as we feature Jessica Falconer’s new children’s story, Beth and the Bracelets.
2019 Issue 2 – Dads and Autism
Fathers on a path to autism acceptance – We are delighted to bring you the special stories of “Dads and Autism” included in this edition. We know from previous readership surveys that we have more women than men reading our Journals, so we are especially grateful to the fathers and families who shared their journeys. We hope these powerful stories of fathers and their autistic sons and daughters will inspire and encourage you.
2019 Issue 1 – Autism Acceptance
Autism professional development demand grows – As this journal hits subscriber mailboxes, we have started delivering Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) programmes for early childhood educators with funding provided by the Ministry of Education. They include one-day workshops and centre visits.
2018 Issue 3 – By autistics, for autistics
By autistics, for autistics – In our last readership survey, 85 per cent of you told us the articles you most liked to read in our Journal were personal perspectives. In this edition, you will find many such articles, by autistics, for autistics.
2018 Issue 2 – Success Across the Spectrum
Commitment to listening encouraged – There is plenty happening in our sector at the moment with two nationwide consultations underway. We are encouraged by this government’s commitment to listening to the voices of a wide and diverse range of people, as seen in both the Education Conversation and the Mental Health inquiry.
2018 Issue 1 – Education and Autism
Setting the agenda for 2018 – Ngā mihi nui and kia ora koutou katoa. Happy New Year! This edition of our Journal is featuring autism and education from pre-school to tertiary, and everything in between.
2017 Issue 3 – Pet therapy, Conference Wrap Up, and New Autism Services
Conference wrapup – A big thank you to everyone who attended our biennial conference, Transitions #Breakthrough2017 in Auckland in July. Two hundred and five delegates joined us for the event and one hundred of you completed the evaluation form and rated this event very highly.
2017 Issue 2 – Untapped Autistic Potential
Making the Transition – Transitions #Breakthrough2017 is our biennial learning event. Thanks to Te Pou’s Consumer Leadership Development Grant, over 50 consumers – That is, autistic people and their families / whānau – are able to attend. Several of these people are also speakers, bringing a rich range of topics. People with lived experience of autism will present two of our four streams of workshops. Transitions #Breakthrough2017 will be an extraordinary opportunity for immersion in autistic culture. We feature several of the speakers in this Journal and all the abstracts are on our website.
Autism-friendly practices theme – We share a range of autism-friendly practices in education, health, research and transport on our website and in this, the first Altogether Autism Journal of 2017. Altogether Autism relies on evidence-based practice when researching and recommending information and strategies.
2016 Issue 4 – Our Stance on Seclusion
Parenting on the spectrum – Parenting brings many uncertainties, but parenting on the spectrum comes with a unique set of challenges, whether you are parenting a child on the spectrum or whether you are a parent with autism. We explore these challenges and reflect on some of the joys of parenting on the spectrum in this latest issue of the Journal.
2016 Issue 2 – Dungeon Master: Breaking the Label
In this issue we consider employment for people with autism, looking at the strengths and challenges. Research and experience points to autism being a battier to employment, and once employed, people on the spectrum are often over-qualified and underpaid. But there is an emerging trend of employers recognising the strengths of autism in the workplace.
2016 Issue 1 – Our ‘Help or Harm?’ Issue
In this issue, we are featuring interventions – Do they help or harm? Surrey Jackson provides us with an overview of fad interventions and reliable sources of evidence-based information on pages 8 and 9. We have developed a basic rating key to give you our at-a-glance opinion of the six interventions covered in this edition.
2015 Issue 4 – Quirky Girls
In this edition, we are delighted to introduce you to two new researchers. Rebecca Armstrong and Tegan Andrews have filled the vacancies left by myself and Surrey Jackson; Surrey has left us to take up an internship with Explore Behaviour Support Services.
2015 Issue 3 – The Strengths and Challenges of High Functioning Autism
In this issue we cover two areas. The first explores some of the strengths and challenges of what is commonly known as ‘high functioning autism’; the second topic gives you key essentials for our upcoming national conference, to be held in Auckland in July.
2015 Issue 1 – Autism: Christmas Survival Edition
I used to wonder what was wrong with me when I started panicking and needing to escape pre-Christmas shopping crowds while everyone around me seemed so happy. But, having been recently diagnosed with autism, I can now appreciate (and forgive) my challenges, particularly around Christmas when social pressures elevate.