What Happens After A Diagnosis Of Autism-Takiwātanga?

What Happens After A Diagnosis Of Autism-Takiwātanga?

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


Receiving a diagnosis of autism-takiwātanga

Parents and whānau can have a range of responses to a diagnosis of autism-takiwātanga in their child. Some parents and whānau are relieved to understand differences in their child's development. Others may find the diagnosis difficult.

If your child does have autism-takiwātanga, there are services available to support your child, you and your whānau.

Getting information about autism-takiwātanga is important. But, parents and whānau will have their own needs about this. Some want as much information as possible early on. Others find a lot of information, early on, overwhelming. There are resources, information and support available for you to check in your own time, when you need them.

Check a listing of NZ resources and support available on autism-takiwātanga

What support is there for my child with autism-takiwātanga?

Developmental coordinators

Each district health board (DHB) has a developmental coordinator who is involved with children having an assessment for autism-takiwātanga. Your developmental coordinator may be able to help you find the information and support available in your area that will be most helpful.

Exploring Autism and Teen Life programmes

Explore is funded through the Ministry of Health to support parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with autism-takiwātanga. Exploring Autism is a programme for parents, caregivers, families and whānau of children with a recent diagnosis of autism-takiwātanga. Programmes are available for families with a child aged between 0 and 5 years as well as families with a child aged 6 to 9 years. The programmes are free and available throughout New Zealand. The Teen Life programme is for parents and caregivers of a child aged between 10 and 15 (up to their 16th birthday) who has an autism-takiwātanga diagnosis. 

You can find out more about these programmes at the HealthCare NZ website.

Financial support

If your child has autism-takiwātanga, financial support is available.

Check information about financial help for your child

Needs assessment

If your child has autism-takiwātanga, a needs assessment is the first step towards getting support or services for your child and whānau.

Check the information on needs assessment

Behaviour support

Explore's Behaviour Support Service

Explore's Behaviour Support Service has a network of over 170 behaviour specialists who work with parents and whānau anywhere in New Zealand. These behaviour specialists give practical and flexible support to help you develop skills and strategies to manage any situation. You can talk with your Needs Assessment Service Coordinator about seeking specialist behaviour support from Explore.

Find out more about Explore's Behaviour Support Service at the HealthCare NZ website

Check Explore's resources and online support for families and whānau.

Watch the video below to follow Josh's story and find out about a family who have had support from Explore's Behaviour Support Services.

Toilet training for children with autism-takiwātanga

Children with autism-takiwātanga are more likely to have bowel difficulties, ranging from loose poos to constipation. When toilet training children with autism-takiwātanga it is important to have a plan, be consistent and patient, give calm responses and praise desired behaviours.

Check the Continence NZ website for information and resources

Are there any medicines for children with autism-takiwātanga?


There are no medicines to cure autism-takiwātanga.

Children with autism-takiwātanga can develop psychological problems such as anxiety, ADHD, depression or psychosis or medical problems such as epilepsy. These problems may benefit from treatment with medicine. A paediatrician or child psychiatrist usually prescribes this medicine to begin with, but your family doctor can often continue prescribing it later on.

Complementary and alternative medicine

All parents want to provide the best opportunities for their child with autism-takiwātanga. There is a lot of online information about a range of treatments for children with autism-takiwātanga. Much of this information is based on individual stories (anecdotes). If you are considering this kind of treatment for your child, talk to your child's paediatrician or psychiatrist first.

Check advice for parents about complementary and alternative medicine

"People who know the details about my autism are usually more comfortable dealing with me. Also, the more information my teachers have, the more ideas they have to help me learn".

See all the content on autism-takiwātanga


The quote from people with autism - takiwātanga is reproduced from the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline (2nd edn), as allowed by the Guideline's copyright policy. The quotes are copyright New Zealand Ministries of Health and Education.

This page last reviewed 15 September 2022.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it