Autism-Takiwātanga (ASD)

Autism | takiwātanga is a difference in development that affects communication, social skills and behaviour. If your child does have autism-takiwātanga, there are services available to support your child, you and your whānau.

Group of children lying on a bed
A baby crawling on the floor covered with a numbers puzzle

Skills like learning to crawl or walk, wave or talk are called developmental milestones. These milestones are things most pēpi and tamariki can do by a certain age. All children are different and develop at different speeds and in their own time.

Young child playing with dinosaurs by himself

Children develop at different rates. Check out what to do if you have concerns about your preschool child's development. There are a range of services for children who need support. 

Multiethnic group of children running

Autism-takiwātanga is a difference in development that affects communication, social skills and behaviour. If your child does have autism-takiwātanga, there are services available to support your child, you and your whānau. 

Boy sitting on grass playing with pinwheel

Children with autism-takiwātanga often have differences in the way they communicate and behave. Check the signs of autism-takiwātanga by age group.

child and their mother at a doctor's clinic talking to a doctor

Read about what happens if you, your whānau, your child's teachers, Well Child nurse or GP raise concerns about your child's development or notice signs of autism-takiwātanga in your child.

Animated image of two children playing on the ground and their mother sitting next to them

Having the right support for your child with autism-takiwātanga can really help their learning and their relationships.

An image of a boy and a speech bubble with words about the autism spectrum

A comic strip explaining that the autism spectrum is not linear. Someone who is neurodiverse in some areas of their brain, will also be no different to your average person in other areas of their brain. 

A screenshot of an animated video. Image depicts four children talking.

A range of videos and animations, including children's voices about their experience of the autism spectrum.

Images of screenshots of various websites supporting families of children with autism

A listing of New Zealand organisations, resources and support available for parents and whānau (family) of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) with autism-takiwātanga. 

Image of a pamphlet about what to expect when tamariki have their COVID vaccine

'Tamariki time' is a resource for tamariki (children) on the spectrum, or tamariki who are anxious or who like to have a step by step explanation before their COVID vaccine.

woman looking out of a window, deep in thought

If you receive news that your child has special needs, you may experience a range of emotions. Remember, there are services available when you want or need help.

Photo of a woman comforting a man.

When your child is diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability, coping is an ongoing process. Everybody copes in a different way. Ask for help when you need it.

Health care professional talking to young seated patients

When raising a child with a disability or illness, there may be appointments to attend and lots of healthcare providers to interact with. Having some systems in place to manage appointments and medical information can help you adapt to your new ‘normal’. 

Photo of two sisters

Nobody has a longer relationship with a family member with a disability than their sibling. Watch Parent to Parent's videos of siblings telling their stories and find out about some sibling support groups. 

photo of a girl sleeping in her bed

Sleep problems are common in tamariki (children). In most tamariki, healthy sleep habits will sort out their sleep problems. If your child does need more help, using a medicine such as melatonin will work better if healthy sleep habits are in place.

Photo of a woman's hands, putting cream on to a child's hand. Background is a table and a pottle of cream

Many parents think about using complementary or alternative medicine approaches for their children. There are some important things to think about using these approaches for your child.

Image of a calculator, pen and documents

Financial support may be available because of your child's extra needs. 

Screenshot image of the Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination Centre website showing the logo and a map of New Zealand and list of places in NZ

If your child has a long-term disability, a needs assessment is a step towards getting support or services for your child and family.

Image of two KidsHealth QR code posters highlighting content on autism-takiwātanga

To give others easy access to KidsHealth's autism-takiwātanga content, you can share 2 QR code posters. Anyone can scan the QR code with their phone and go straight to KidsHealth's content on autism-takiwātanga.