What we offer

Whānau can choose from a variety of best practice services

Child playing with bubbles

We provide a variety of support to autistic children, their whānau, and other support people. This includes speech language therapy and two play-based programmes: Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

In all our programmes, learning is embedded into naturally occurring daily routines, allowing parents and educators to take what they learn in sessions into everyday situations.

Speech language therapy

Our speech language therapists support autistic children up to the age of 12 with a variety of speech, language, and communication needs. This includes support with spoken language and other forms of communication, including augmentative and alternative communication.

Our speech language therapists work with whānau to select meaningful communication goals. They take a neurodiversity-affirming approach by respecting and building upon children’s natural and preferred ways of communicating.

Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy

Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) is a neurodiversity-affirming approach designed to support parent–child interactions and child communication.

In fortnightly PACT sessions, parents and caregivers are filmed playing with their child and they then reflect on those videos together with a therapist.

International research suggests that PACT is effective in improving parent responsiveness to their child and in improving child communication and engagement with their parents.

Early Start Denver Model

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) targets a wide range of developmental skills for children under the age of five who are, or who are suspected of being, autistic.

We focus on child-led interactions and following a child’s motivation to engage. Through fun, naturalistic interactions with parents, caregivers, and therapists, the ESDM aims to accelerate child learning and skill development.

The ESDM was developed overseas, so we have been adapting this approach to better suit the needs of our community. These adaptations haven been made based on our own published research and the advice of an advisory group comprised of members of the Aotearoa autistic and autism communities.