14 Sep 2017

Pasifika teachers fight cultural stigma around disabilities

From Morning Report, 8:45 am on 14 September 2017

Kindergarten teachers are worried negative cultural attitudes about disabilities are hampering efforts to help Pasifika children with special needs.

"When a child is identified with learning needs... that cultural thinking of 'why is that child like that?' Is it the sin of the father or is there a curse in the family..." Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens senior manager of communities and participation Caroline Mareko says.

"Our teachers may find it challenging to have the conversation with parents once a child is identified with learning needs or requiring learning support, so there is a barrier or a challenge to engaging parents to have that conversation."