Parent-coaching playgroups

Work with a parent coach in a group environment, and develop tools to help foster your child’s development.

Two women playing with two toddlers

Learning practical strategies

You’ll learn how to help accelerate your child’s social learning and skill development by incorporating ESDM techniques into your family’s routines and activities.

Over nine weeks, you’ll cover the key strategies from the ESDM parent manual:

  • capturing your child's attention
  • having fun with sensory social routines
  • building back-and-forth interactions
  • the importance of non-verbal communication
  • helping your child learn by imitating
  • how children learn
  • the joint attention triangle: sharing interests with others
  • playing with toys and pretend play
  • moving into speech.

Playgroup structure and length

Each playgroup runs over a nine-week term. You’ll attend morning sessions of an hour with two to three other families (three to four families in each group).

At each session, you’ll discuss the key strategy for the week and set a goal tailored to the needs of your family. You and your child will then get a chance to practice the strategy you’ve learnt, with feedback from therapists.

Playgroups are held at the Autism Resource Centre in Petone.


We ask families to pay $50 per term as a contribution to our administrative running costs—room hire and materials.

Contact us to find out more about playgroup and our other services.