Leith McMurray qualified as a Social Worker at the University of Canterbury. (Post-graduate Diploma in Social Work, 1984). She comes from a long line of Aspies on both sides of her family. She also has a Bachelor of Arts (1981), and CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) by distance learning from Cambridge University (2001).
Leith was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 58 and thus had spent the larger part of her life trying to cope in a Neurotypical world before finding her "true" nature. (The great news about Asperger Syndrome was not widely known until Uta Frith published an English translation of Hans Asperger's work in 1991). It took a while after that for people to realise that Aspie children grow up into Aspie adults, (surprise!!!) but the world has changed dramatically since then. Although there are still dinosaurs who think that AS is for boys only....
Leith worked together with Jan Brooking as co-counsellors introducing people to the likelihood (or not) of their being Aspie, and providing information about what steps next to take in the great journey of obtaining a diagnosis, and how to adjust to their new future lives.
Leith has recently received the accolade of becoming a "Registered Social Worker"- the Government Gold Standard.
After initially studying 40 years ago, this is a great confirmation of her skills.
My motto: "If I haven't offended you yet, please be patient. I'll get to you shortly". Famous for the Aspie blurt, alas.
Really chuffed to receive this Civic Award In December 2017 for Community Service!
Rod Wintour is one of three generations of Aspies; Rod's father, Rod himself and his two sons, who were written off in childhood from an educational point of view. Rod's father was expelled from mainstream education in his primary school years because his ticcing and noises were a disruption to the other children. Rod was deemed unteachable but it was uncertain about what his true ability was, which caused divisions between his teachers. Rod couldn't read until he taught himself after leaving school. Rod's sons were deemed retarded (which was the term used back then) and Rod and his wife were urged to keep the boys away from mainstream education. Rod home-schooled the boys interspersed with conventional schooling.
Today Rods oldest son is a fully qualified audio engineer through Mainz and was their top student. Rod's youngest son early this year received his Degree in 3 D animation.
Rod and his then wife started the first Aspire Trust NZ in 1998 to directly cater to the needs of Aspergers students They ran a Respite care centre for Aspergers children and teenagers for eight years. Rod also worked full time on Area Health and Education teams for over twelve years working with many children and teenagers with Aspergers in schools throughout the Auckland and Northland areas.
Rod also trained as a student advocate (Youth law e.a.s.y program) and advocated for students as well as did Irlen screening. Rod has written many articles and features in books overseas and is also well known for his poems and quotations about Aspergers.