So the great autistic one has been attending a special needs gym class for the past 6 months. Every Monday afternoon during school terms(10 weeks in a row 2 weeks off 6 weeks off for summer holidays at Christmas time) we trooped off to our local gym and had a blast!
It has been funded by local community groups and there was no cost to parents.
There seemed to be a variety of kids attending aged from 5 through to 15??? maybe and about a dozen kids. And at first glance they appear to have different issues but as we well know(NOW) is apparently is not polite to come up to some one and say “what’s your kids problem ?”
Today we showed up for his first session of the term and we’re handed a notice informing us that The Autism Gym class is now funded by Autism NZ and if we want to continue enjoying gym we must become members of Autism NZ and it’s only for children aged up to 11. – REALLY????
<insert large amount of expletives here>
First of all at what point did his special needs gym session become an ‘autism only’ gym session???? Did we miss a memo? And it’s funny how last year when the old volunteer was running it her 15/16? year old son was the oldest kid there and now there is a very different age limit???? I smell something and it ain’t wonderboys’ pull up
Secondly WHUT???? In order to continue using a service that has suddenly become exclusive we have to become members of the club.
It’s not the money mind, they want I think $30 a year, a small pitence. No no it’s the utter gall of forcing us to join an organization that we are not interested in in the slightest just to get benefit from something that had nothing to do with them until this week.
Bloody horrid shock to us. We looked into Autism NZ when we first got diagnosed 6 1/2 years ago and again when we move from one part of the country to the other 4 1/2 years ago.
Unimpressed was the general sentiment. We were offered a place in a class that as far as we could understand was geared to “how to love your child even though he/she is autistic” Both times there was considerable confusion and dismay from those that offered when we explain that it was completely unnecessary unwarranted and some what offensive that they assumed we needed help loving our child.
We inquired as too what else the organisation could do for us. The response was some vague mumbling about seminars and guest speakers and an enthusiastic invitation to use their “extensive” library. And to once again point us in the direction of their “early bird(how to love your child) class”
We were put in touch with woman that supposedly wanted to set up New Zealand’s first autism assistance dog training program. We met with her and her “very high functioning” teenage son. Over the course of 2 weeks worth of dialogue the conversations went from the woman having this “specially hand picked” young Labrador pup which she would train with input from us over the space of several months and then hand over with training from her to it was a “half-breed-pit-bull-cross-and-if-we-wanted-an- advice-we-could-always-drop-her-a-line-it’s-almost-housebroken-how-long-till-you-can-take-it-off-my-hands?” And this women was seeking endorsement from Autism NZ and receiving special notice in the newsletters for her “incredible contributions”.
Recent scanning of the online website has yet to revel to me any thing tangible that the organisation offers. Again vague mention of “seminars and visiting experts in the field Some “what is autism” for dummies posters links to pages to download information about their 3 courses offered!!!!(you must be a member to see the downloads) a link to an online “am I autistic test”-by the way I took the test. I’m not autistic I just hate people. And reminders on several pages that it’s $30 a year for a family to join.
I almost want to take the “is it a cult test?” but I’m afraid of the answer.
We were handed the form to enroll with the group today at the end of gym “Please note all family members and what their diagnosis is – classic/aspergers/pdd/other”
Hell I won’t answer the government census questions and I have to by law and you wanna know each and evey family member and what their problem is” I always knew autistic folk had poor social skills. I didn’t realize it was an entrance requirement to the club.
Apparently calling yourself an asshole just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The Great Autistic One starts swimming this week. No entrance requirements beyond the $1.50 pool fee. And I’m pretty sure the lifeguards aren’t cult members. The penguin mascot I’m not too sure about though.