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Pacific Island Parents Perspective. By Karolini Tutavaha and Galumaninoa Tasi- Perez. “Pacific Island Parent’s Perspective in understanding People with an Intellectual Disability where Behaviour Presents Challenging”. “One Thing Leads to Another”. INTRODUCTION.

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Pacific Island Parents Perspective

By Karolini Tutavaha and Galumaninoa Tasi- Perez


“Pacific Island Parent’s Perspective in understanding People with an Intellectual Disability where Behaviour Presents Challenging”.

“One Thing Leads to Another”



  • Pacific Island Definition of Intellectual Disability
  • What is perceived as Challenging Behaviour?
  • Communication
  • Sexuality
  • How to deal with it
  • One thing leads to another

Pacific Island Definition

Of Intellectual Disability

Cultural Beliefs

- Manifestation of external ancestral force

(failure of a person to fulfill a dying persons final wishes)

  • Family has broken a certain custom ( the relationship with the gods, land and family including extended family is disturbed and unbalanced)

- Illness that cannot be treated

- Possessed by the evil spirits (Religious beliefs)



Some Challenging behaviour can be seen as a form of communication:

  • Biting
  • Spitting
  • Head banging / butting
  • Pulling hair
  • Breaking and throwing things
  • Crying / Screaming / yelling
  • Tapu - Not an open subject, in the home or family members
  • Culturally inappropriate to be spoken of among
  • males and females (relation) especially sisters and brothers
  • Deprivation of expressing there sexual needs
  • Perceived as not worth having a relationship
  • Intellectually disabled people don’t have sexual needs
  • As a mother I would not want my son/ daughter to be taken
  • advantaged of so they become overprotective, not allowing the
  • opportunity for the disabled person to meet their sexual feelings
  • Expressing sexual feelings can be seen as
  • challenging and unacceptable.


All people want all or

some of these things

  • Families/Fanau
  • Friendships
  • Relationships
  • Education
  • Home
  • Recreation/Leisure

We want our fanau to

  • Be included
  • Be able to
  • participate
  • Have a lot of new
  • opportunities in
  • their lives

Encourage and Educate the Community

and Society

  • Education/Programmes
  • What disabled people think/experience
  • Recognition of disabled peoples achievements
  • Encourage people to talk about disability issues

Pacific Island

People with an Intellectual Disability

To promote the involvement of

Pacific People with an Intellectual disability so that their cultures are

understood and recognised

promotion of pacific people with an intellectual disability
Improve services for Pacific people with an Intellectual disability

Train Service Providers / Specialist so they understand different Pacific Island cultures

Get Pacific communities to talk and think about disability issues

Make sure information is available in a way that Pacific people can access

Promotion of Pacific People with an Intellectual Disability
improve services
Improve services
  • Best education (appropriate placement / inclusion /special unit)
  • Opportunities in employment
  • Opportunities to live in their own homes
  • Health services in their community
  • Recreational and sports projects
train and upskill service providers
Train and Upskill Service Providers
  • The abilities of Pacific People with an Intellectual Disability
  • Provide information so Pacific People with an Intellectual Disability / fanau know what help they can get
  • Involve Pacific Island people with an Intellectual Disability in decision making
support services pacific island people with an intellectual disability by pacific people
Support Services Pacific Island People with an Intellectual Disability by Pacific People
  • Communication
  • Culture
  • Spiritual needs
  • Living models
awareness of pacific communities
Awareness of Pacific Communities
  • Talk about disability issues
  • Educate families about the abilities of the Pacific Island People who are disabled /fanau / families
  • Access to services and information
  • Individual capacity

One Thing Leads to Another”

Result and one thing leads to another

Teach and Nurture

Understanding the Disability

  • ‘…to understand peoples’ perceptions of disability we must develop a better understanding of their culture; and once we begin to understand perceptions of disability, we better understand the cultures in which they develop… we can and should investigate culture and perceptions at the same time’. Fitzgerald, 1993