Exploring Autism

Exploring Autism is a  programme for parents, caregivers and whānau of children with a recent diagnosis of autism. It is available throughout New Zealand at no cost to families.

Programmes are available for families with a child aged between 0-5 years as well as families with a child aged 6-9 years.  The content covers core topics with adaptations and additional information appropriate to each age group.

The programme aims to help participants to grow their understanding of autism, to consider their child’s individual needs and to identify practical strategies that can be used in everyday life. It introduces a range of services and supports that are available in New Zealand for children with autism as well as websites and resources that families may find useful.

Exploring Autism

Who can attend?

Parents, caregivers and whānau of a child aged 0-9 years (up to 10th birthday) who have a recent autism diagnosis. Please note, the child does not attend with their parents.

The Exploring Autism programme

6 sessions cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to autism
  • Social communication
  • Sensory processing
  • Thinking and learning
  • Supporting stress, anxiety and behaviour
  • Next steps – into the future

The content is mostly provided through group sessions, so families have the opportunity to connect and to learn with and from each other.  These groups can occur in person or through remote delivery/video conferencing.

An individual follow up session is available so families can apply their learning to their own child and their own unique situation.

The programme can also be provided for an individual family or whānau group if that suits the situation best. This might involve home visits and/or video conferencing.

Parents/caregivers can apply by:


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