Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Explores and critically analyses the intersection of neuro-disabilities like FASD, ADHD, and ASD within health, mental health, welfare and justice systems. Examines concepts of neuro-disability and neuro-diversity.

    This paper has a theory and practice mix and is highly suited to human service and other professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in this growing area of research and practice. Understanding neuro-disabilities and neuro-diversity, notably, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, but also Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, this paper provides a useful option for students taking either the Minor in Criminology or the DipGrad in Criminology, as well as Postgraduate level Social Work students and some allied health, medical or education professions.

    About this paper

    Paper title Special Topic: Exploring Neuro-Disability in Health, Welfare and Justice Systems
    Subject Sociology
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    54 300-level points

    Suitable for Honours and other postgraduate students. Also available as a Certificate of Proficiency.

    Teaching staff

    Lecturer: Associate Professor Anita Gibbs

    Paper Structure

    Part One

    • Introduction, key terms and definitions, key concepts and critical issues in the study of neuro-disability and neuro-diversity in social systems.
    • Prevalence, screening, assessment, diagnosis and categorization of neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity in social systems.
    • Key frameworks, models and concepts in understanding neuro-disability/ neuro-diversity.
    • Critical disability studies, social model, disability rights/human rights, eco-systems, lived experiences, lifecourse.

    Part Two

    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity in health and mental health.
    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity in welfare.
    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity in Justice.
    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity and the family/whānau.
    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity and race, gender and intersectionality.
    • Neuro-disabilities/ neuro-diversity across the lifecourse and course conclusion.
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    One 2-hour seminar and one tutorial per week.


    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    At the completion of this paper, students will have:

    • Developed a broad knowledge of key frameworks, perspectives and concepts when studying neuro-disability and neuro-diversity, in health, welfare and justice systems.
    • Identified and understood the definitions and prevalence of neuro-disability and neuro-diversity, in health, welfare and justice systems.
    • Applied critical disability and critical reflective lenses to discourse and texts exploring neuro-disability and neuro-diversity, in health, welfare and justice systems.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of key issues facing individuals, children, young people, families, and whānau, as they manage living with a neuro-disability, and neuro-diversity.
    • Awareness of the range of interventions, strategies, and systems-wide practices that lead to successful outcomes for people managing and living with neuro-disabilities, and neuro-diversity.
    • Knowledge of key roles of, and challenges faced by, professionals working with people with neuro-disabilities, and neuro-diversity, in the health, welfare and justice systems, and how to implement best practice in research, policy and practice for people managing and living with neuro-disabilities, and neuro-diversity.
    • Communicated critical and theoretical ideas through analysis, written skills and oral presentation.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
    Back to top