Teen Life

The Teen Life programme aims to empower parents and supporting professionals to understand more about how autism is experienced by autistic teenagers. 

It creates opportunities to discuss useful strategies and share ideas to support the young person. For our face to face programmes, parents/caregivers can choose to have a professional attend alongside them, but this isn’t compulsory and is limited to one person. Unfortunately, we are unable to include professionals on our remote programmes.

The programme is fully funded by the Ministry of Health so there is no cost to participants.

Autism Support for Autistic Teenagers

Who Can Attend?

Parents/caregivers of a child aged between 10 and 15 (up to 16th birthday) who has an autism diagnosis. Up to two family members and a supporting professional (invited by the family) can attend together.  The child/teenager does not attend the programme with the family.

The Programme

6 group sessions cover the following topics:

  1. Autism in teenagers
    Hidden presentation in women and girls
    The autistic perspective

  2. Self-esteem
    Spending time with other people

  3. Stress and anxiety
    Understanding behaviour

  4. Understanding your diagnosis
    Understanding intense interests
    Managing expectations

  5. Puberty
    Independence skills

  6. Education
    Planning for the future

How to apply?

Parents/caregivers can apply by:

Choosing a programme from the schedule below and then doing one of the following:

  1. Downloading and completing the referral form. Remember to specify the programme you wish to attend from the calendar and email this to explore@explore.org.nz
  2. Calling 0800 605 001 and asking one of our team to complete the referral for you
  3. Ask another professional in the teenager’s support team to complete the referral e.g. Service coordinator at NASC, Developmental/autism coordinator

We can accommodate a maximum of 6 families per programme and places will be allocated on a first received basis. We need a minimum of 4 families to run the programme so the programme may need to be cancelled if we don’t receive enough referrals.

Click on your area below to find what programmes are scheduled near you:


CityDayDatesTimesWeeks Running
AlbanyThursday4/11/2021 – 9/12/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL
HendersonMonday17/05/2021 – 28/06/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL  
ManurewaMonday9/08/2021 – 13/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFor six weeks  
Mt AlbertTuesday10/08/2021 – 14/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFor six weeks  
PakurangaWednesday19/05/2021 – 23/06/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL
PenroseWednesday2/11/2021 – 7/12/20216:00pm – 8:00pmFULL

North Island

CityDayDatesTimesWeeks Running
HamiltonWednesday1/09/2021 – 15/09/202110:00am – 2:00pmFULL
Kapiti – RaumatiTuesday11/05/2021 – 22/06/202112:00pm – 2:00pmWITHDRAWN 
Palmerston NorthTuesday2/11/2021 – 16/11/202110:00am – 3:00pmFor three weeks  
Upper HuttThursday13/05/2021 – 24/06/202110:00am – 2:00pmFULL 
Wellington – HataitaiMonday2/08/2021 – 6/09/20215:00pm – 7:00pmFULL 
Wellington – PetoneTuesday3/08/2021 – 7/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL
Wellington – TawaMonday2/08/2021 – 6/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmWITHDRAWN
Wellington – TawaTuesday19/10/2021 – 23/11/202110:00am – 12:00pmFor six weeks
Mount MaunganuiMonday26/07/2021 – 30/08/202110:30am – 12:30pm For six weeks
WhanganuiTuesday14/09/2021 – 28/09/202110:00am – 2:00pmFor three weeks
North Island

South Island

CityDayDatesTimesWeeks Running
AshburtonFriday29/10/2021 – 3/12/202111:00am – 1:00pmFor six weeks  
Christchurch – FendaltonWednesday4/08/2021 – 8/09/202111:00am – 1:00pmFULL  
Christchurch – PegasusTuesday26/10/2021 – 30/11/202110:00am – 12:00pmFor six weeks  
Christchurch – New BrightonWednesday26/05/2021 – 30/06/202110:30am – 12:30pmFULL  
Nelson – RichmondThursday29/07/2021 – 2/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL  
DunedinMonday23/08/2021 – 27/09/20216:00pm – 8:00pmFor six weeks  
InvercargillWednesday10/11/2021 – 24/11/202110:00am – 2:30pmFor three weeks
South Island

Remote Delivery Teen Life Programmes

CityDayDatesTimesWeeks Running
Remote DeliveryWednesday18/08/2021 – 22/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL
Remote DeliveryMonday23/08/2021 – 27/09/20211:00pm – 3:00pmFULL  
Remote DeliveryWednesday28/07/2021 – 1/09/20211:00pm – 3:00pmFULL
Remote DeliveryTuesday27/07/2021 – 31/08/20211:00pm – 3:00pmFULL
Remote DeliveryThursday05/08/2021 – 09/09/202110:00am – 12:00pmFULL
Remote Delivery Teen Life Programmes

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