Posts by Hilary Stace

  • Access: The long road to real space, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We all need these.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The long road to real space,

    I think an anxiogenic environment is an an unrecognised and unaddressed cause of a great deal of so-called 'challenging behaviour' for autistic children and adults. It's why we needed to get Ashley Peacock out of a noisy, unpredictable, often hostile incarceration into a purpose built and peaceful supported home in the community.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…,

    In 1972 there was a Royal Commission which looked at the situation with psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals. The incoming Labour Government disestablished it and transferred it to a select committee investigation, basically saying get on with de-institutionalisation. The Commissioners decided to publish their recommendations on the 'mentally handicapped' anyway as they were unanimous in criticising government policy for the previous 20 years which had led to increased institutionalisation including of children. They provide figures of almost 5000 'mentally handicapped' children and adults then institutionalised. I do hope the new Commission takes all this context into account. Deep roots for ongoing injustice.

    http://www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/AFE2E39B246EE9114C2565D70018A747/$file/services-for-the-mentally-handicapped-3rd-report-royal-commission-inquiry.pdf

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…,

    Disability neglect sadly continues. Distressed to hear about the so called carer of a high needs woman who, in a 6 hour day shift, spoke only a couple of sentences to her, offered no food/drink or help with toileting and watched loud videos with violence and swearing while ignoring her charge. Job description is to help with participation in the community.

    Agency would probably say that there is no one else who will do the work. (Even though it pays over $20 per hour.) Major workforce issues in the disability sector need to be urgently addressed regardless of the Royal Commission's findings.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Another year on earth,

    Great to see Jackie Clark on the New Year Honours list. I first 'met' Jackie through Public Address years ago.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Another year on earth,

    Russell, thanks so much for your continuing and practical support of Access, although posts have been sparse this year. A year ago today I was recovering from pancreatitis and gall bladder surgery and on Christmas Eve fell and badly broke my ankle. The lovely paramedics from Wellington Free Ambulance came with some wonderful pain relief to suck on and took me to hospital (where I had just spent a week or so) and Christmas Day was spent in and recovering from surgery rather than hosting a large family gathering. The hospital chaplain came around and gave me one of those Christmas cards that kind people had written for lonely and alone people - but that little gesture meant a lot. The care from Wellington Hospital was great but I learned a lot about being a patient patient. All that took several months to recover from and I found it hard to do the usual brain stuff for a long time. But a year on I can now walk up mild hills and can sometimes think clearly.

    By the way I really liked the CRISPR talk and think it would be a great idea to have some more discussions about ethical issues generally. Ethics usually lags behind technology which is rapidly advancing in many directions. It's not just the exciting AI stuff, it is also the growing international DNA biobanks that we willingly contribute to and new things like do-it-yourself brain stimulation. When cannabis is finally legal will there and should there be trials on autistic children? And in public policy is it ethical to have two different and unequal systems of disability support in NZ based on whether the impairment is acquired or congenital? So many issues and few easy answers!

    Best wishes for 2019.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Thanks for finding that link Rosemary. And congratulations with the victory (that is a story for the memoirs, maybe).

    Just realised that in the post I made a mistake with the closure of Kimberley. It was 2006 not 2004. And I have been told that in the 1960s the State authority in charge of institutions was called the Department of Mental Hygiene.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…, in reply to Caro13,

    Finding files for survivors should be a part of this process.

    Some years ago Spectrum Care, a provider organisation, compiled a book of stories of some of the people who had come into their care since the institutions closed. The book was called Extraordinary Journeys and was an attempt to find out who the people were and give them identity. But as many were by then elderly and some didn't use words to communicate there were big gaps. Much sadness at estrangement from families in most situations. But it was a respectful attempt by the organisation to get to know those in their care.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…, in reply to Craig Young,

    I'm not sure about exact details but some children were sent to special schools or orphanages run by faith-based organisations. Sometimes families retained welfare guardianship such as with residential special schools but as the State had oversight of these places via licensing and inspection etc and let abuse happen the State has responsibility.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The stories the Royal Commission…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Yes, in those days we had government departments - departments of Government.. The monolithic ministries didn't come till the 1980s/90s. There were also varieties of inspection in these departments. However, I have talked to people who had some of these roles and they were not always aware of or alerted to abusive practices. There were many staff doing their best and presenting a benign face of institutionalisation. It was also accepted as best practice so not much desire to look too deep. Remember that it took a whistleblowing staff member to reveal the use of ECT as torture in Lake Alice and still more years for the practice to stop.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

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