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513 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#265388 19-Jan-2020 21:29
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Hi All,

 

I recently wrote in another thread I have a 10 year old with Autism and was busy trying to find a way to keep him with a phone so he could keep watching his music videos as tends to get a bit violent with phones now and then! :)

 

I am just curious however in NZ society on how we view special needs.

 

My wife took my son to Albany pools this afternoon at about 3:45pm.  It is a brave thing, he is non verbal, has no patience for waiting etc and doesn't understand much at all, he is in the top 2% severity in the country.  

 

She got to the pools and worst case scenario, one pool was closed and there was a queue, she explained to the staff that he is special needs.

 

Their reply "no exceptions, its unfair on others"

 

So he stresses out, she stresses out... and he starts self harming, luckily he got in before it became a meltdown.

 

I'm stunned, surely as a society we should be able to make exceptions? especially in a council/rate payer funded pool..
While I always hate people that cut in line, if there is a legit reason then surely most people would be ok?

 

I know there might be different opinions, but just curious, are we expecting too much?

 

 


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  #2401854 19-Jan-2020 22:05
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One of my boys is autistic and is technically non-verbal as well, but he can say a few basic words. He understands almost everything, however whether he chooses to behave as he's been asked is a different question. He can have meltdowns if he doesn't get his way, but sometimes he does respond if this toys are taken away (and then he may start to behave a little better).

 

As I said in the other thread, I feel we get little-to-no Government support, bar $90 every two weeks...but that doesn't even barely cover the cost of his afterschool care (which we have to do privately, as his school doesn't do anything at all in this area). $90 a week would be better, or a start anyway. He is also quite fussy about what he eats, so he has to get his own food with the grocery shop as he mostly won't eat what the rest of us do.

 

I feel your pain, if I had to describe raising a special needs child in one word, it would be "challenging".


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  #2401859 19-Jan-2020 22:26
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Have you not not had referrals to various agencies from your local hospital or whoever docs you’ve been involved with?

 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek

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  #2401864 19-Jan-2020 22:35
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MadEngineer: Have you not not had referrals to various agencies from your local hospital or whoever docs you’ve been involved with?

 

 

 

Yes, definitely, it is never enough of course.

 

My question was a bit different though... should kids with special needs be able to jump a queue basically when their needs require it - sometimes they cannot wait,  and dont understand the concept of waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  #2401866 19-Jan-2020 22:40
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having raised 2 special needs children for the past 20 years , your experience is pretty normal, i have found to make things better you have to be vocal and not afraid to upset people to make for a better and easier life for your child. It is a lot easier today than 20 years ago and that is mainly from parents and care givers speaking up for special need children. I would have complained and if that didnt work i would go to management  and explain why my child needed to jump the queue .





Common sense is not as common as you think.


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  #2401892 19-Jan-2020 23:32
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I fully agree that some special attention is required for those that need it.

 

In this situation though, I feel you will always luck out. The people on the front desk of a pool were probably school/uni kids and have simply been told "these are the rules". They dont have the critical thinking to say "oh you know what, yes that makes sense". I say this as someone who was a lifeguard at a pool when I was a school kid and know the one way thought processes that went through my head.


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  #2401906 20-Jan-2020 03:03
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chevrolux:

I fully agree that some special attention is required for those that need it.


In this situation though, I feel you will always luck out. The people on the front desk of a pool were probably school/uni kids and have simply been told "these are the rules". They dont have the critical thinking to say "oh you know what, yes that makes sense". I say this as someone who was a lifeguard at a pool when I was a school kid and know the one way thought processes that went through my head.



As someone who grew up in a family with severe special needs I'd tend to agree. The people working at the front desk of a community pool won't have the skills required to deal with this. You would likely find this true anywhere in the world.

I also think if a call had been made to the management of the pool prior to attending this probably could have been dealt with in a far.more satisfactory manner.

What happened is by no means ok and I really feel for the OP. It's also not realistic to expect the majority of people in the service industry to have the skills to understand what to do here.

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  #2401955 20-Jan-2020 08:46
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Kilack:

 

She got to the pools and worst case scenario, one pool was closed and there was a queue, she explained to the staff that he is special needs.

 

Their reply "no exceptions, its unfair on others"

 

 

We have a friend with a special needs child -- they have huge issues where people judge him to be mentally normal just because he looks normal. 

 

Most people don't understand because they have not had direct experience with special needs children. 

 

Feel for you, our friends have been through unimaginable distress, and most people are blissfully unaware or intentionally ignorant. 

 

If you do visit these pools on occasion, you could meet with the facility manager and explain your situation -- hopefully, they will show understanding and make an exception for you. 

 

[edit] your brief description of your child sounds a bit like our friends boy -- he is around 9'ish now, hardly any words, but understands... he has massive meltdowns when he doesn't get his own way, has destroyed several TV's, they give him devices when they need a break. But then the problem is removing the device. 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2401978 20-Jan-2020 09:31
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We have disabled parking, elderly and pregnant priority seats on public transport so why should special needs kids be any different, I think anyone who is disadvantaged whether it be through a disability, age or special needs should have priority in instances like this most definitely.

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  #2402048 20-Jan-2020 10:49
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100% agree that our society has a long way to go. Most people, I reckon, don’t react well or understand when people with special needs show up - they have little or no experience, don’t know what to do, and their systems aren’t designed to handle exceptions.

 

i bet if the child showed up with an obvious disability, say a cerebral palsy or a wheelchair, staff would have been more accepting and accomodating.

 

how about ringing the pool ahead of time and letting them know you are coming in and may need some assistance? Then at the very least they would have been mentally prepared. It shouldn’t be necessary, but it might have avoided a few issues.





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  #2402206 20-Jan-2020 11:54
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Kilack:

MadEngineer: Have you not not had referrals to various agencies from your local hospital or whoever docs you’ve been involved with?


 


Yes, definitely, it is never enough of course.


My question was a bit different though... should kids with special needs be able to jump a queue basically when their needs require it - sometimes they cannot wait,  and dont understand the concept of waiting.


 


 


 



If you’ve had proper referrals you should be able to ask any of them for help in these situations. I suggest calling and/or visiting the locations ahead of time* to check suitability and if they can accommodate special requirements. Your contacts should then be able to act as advocates to assist if you’re still stuck.

*As you’ll be well experienced with - spectrum kids are much happier if there are no surprises and everyone has had time to prepare for the outing.

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  #2402278 20-Jan-2020 12:34
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Handle9:

I also think if a call had been made to the management of the pool prior to attending this probably could have been dealt with in a far.more satisfactory manner.

 

surfisup1000:

 

Feel for you, our friends have been through unimaginable distress, and most people are blissfully unaware or intentionally ignorant. 

 

If you do visit these pools on occasion, you could meet with the facility manager and explain your situation -- hopefully, they will show understanding and make an exception for you. 

 

BlinkyBill:

 

100% agree that our society has a long way to go. Most people, I reckon, don’t react well or understand when people with special needs show up - they have little or no experience, don’t know what to do, and their systems aren’t designed to handle exceptions.

 

i bet if the child showed up with an obvious disability, say a cerebral palsy or a wheelchair, staff would have been more accepting and accommodating.

 

how about ringing the pool ahead of time and letting them know you are coming in and may need some assistance? Then at the very least they would have been mentally prepared. It shouldn’t be necessary, but it might have avoided a few issues

 

Being a retired paediatric nurse I have had a lot to do with children with 'special needs' and yes society is still quite bias even if the child's disability is obvious, but it is far worse if it is not and unfortunately 'out of sight' is still the thinking of a lot of people.

 

Planning is the key to looking after these children - As Baden Powell said; "Be Prepared". Phone ahead, speak to management and duty supervisors. Most council swimming pools have disability equipment but it could be stashed away somewhere and take time to get it out, ensure it is serviceable, ensure staff know how to operate it.

 

Have all your calming and distraction strategies in place, swimming nappies, waterproof dressings for feeding stoma's as well as to cover up any severe bite marks (these will stop stares and embarrassing questions). Make sure you have the emergency medicines kit stocked (e.g. anti-epileptics)

 

If you are stressed then the child will be too so ensure you chill out and enjoy yourself and the outing with your child.





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  #2402390 20-Jan-2020 14:22
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She got to the pools and worst case scenario, one pool was closed and there was a queue, she explained to the staff that he is special needs. Their reply "no exceptions, its unfair on others"

This doesn't reflect the attitude of most kiwis imo. It's clearly not unfair to others in this particular case. It's a question of equal access that was not provided. Heaps of pool queues in summer. Time to chat to an advocate to take it up with the council.

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Ultimate Geek


  #2402564 20-Jan-2020 17:25
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It goes both ways, yes they could have done better but you could consider ringing up ahead of time and seeing if they have any options. Some pools also take health and safety into account, depending on levels of impairment some kids can be overconfident in water and they might want a staff minder with them at all times in addition to a parent which requires planning or the possibility of no swimming if they are understaffed.

 

 

 

NZ retail is slowly waking up to this, countdown with quiet hours once a week where lights are dimmed/checkout noises reduced or turned off etc and the warehouse is bringing in a similar program over the next 5 years. 


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