Living in a bubble the norm for these parents

April 12, 2020

If you’re the parent of an autistic child, you already know what it means to live in a bubble, writes Dahlia Malaeulu.

12 April 2020 – When our son was about three and a half, his preschool teachers told us they’d noticed what they described as “concerning” behaviour.

Being a teacher myself, I knew “concerning” was code for something else. It could mean anything on the wheel of misfortune: a problem with behaviour, or learning, or development.

As we found out later, with autism, you can get all three. Read more in E-Tangata

  • E-Tangata is an online Sunday magazine run by the Mana Trust, which is dedicated to building a stronger Māori and Pacific presence in the New Zealand media. The website is not-for-profit and is largely a labour of love by a part-time team of accomplished journalists and writers who want to see, throughout the mainstream media, a more balanced and better informed reflection of New Zealand lives and issues.
  • Dahlia Malaeulu is a New Zealand-born Samoan, with her father Malo Gray originating from the village of Sinamoga and her mother Lagi Gray (nee Saletele) from the village of Vaivase tai. Dahlia is married to Mani Malaeulu and is the proud mother of two young boys, Mason and Isaia, who inspired her to create the Mila’s My Gagana Series.
  • Dahlia is a passionate educator at heart. For the past decade she has lived her dream of being a teacher at Wainuiomata Intermediate School. Dahlia enjoys and specialises in supporting tamaiti develop their natural strengths and cultural connections through providing engaging learning opportunities and experiences.

Mase with a book written by Dahlia, which was inspired by the stories she told him to reinforce social learning.


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