Ka whāngaia, ka tipu, ka puāwai
Nurture it and it will grow, then blossom

The Autism Clinic has been established together with the Autism Intervention Trust to develop and evaluate best practice early interventions for young children with autism in New Zealand.

We work with children under the age of five who have, or are suspected of having, autism, their families and whānau, caregivers and teachers. We also work with therapists and other health professionals.

The Early Start Denver Model

We work extensively with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a play-based behavioural therapy. Through fun, naturalistic interactions with parents, caregivers, and therapists, the ESDM can accelerate learning and skill development for young children with, or suspected to have, autism.

A view from above, a woman holds a wooden puzzle of four shapes, a young child holds an orange rectangular piece in his hand.


Support research and the work of the Autism Clinic to develop early interventions for young children with autism in New Zealand.

Find out about donating

Watch Dr Waddington explain the autism clinic in a public lecture

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Support for families

We offer a range of services for children and families living with autism. Learn how to use the Early Start Denver Model with your child at our parent-coaching playgroups, or work with our ESDM-trained therapists.

Learn more


Our studies have demonstrated the potential for improving engagement, communication, and imitation in young children with autism.

Explore our research
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