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National | Autism

Aotearoa develops world’s first 'living' guideline for takiwātanga, autism

Minister Poto Williams, Whaikaha chief executive Paula Tesoriero and Takiwātanga Living Guideline manager Marita Broadstock.  Source / Whaikaha

Aotearoa has developed the world’s first "living" guideline for takiwātanga, autism.

With Māori and Pasifika perspectives, the Aotearoa New Zealand Autism Guideline – He Waka Huia Takiwātanga Rau will be updated yearly by a 'living guidelines group'.

Dr Andrew Marshall, from the Paediatric Society of New Zealand, who is co-chair of the group says this process will enable new evidence to be captured and the guideline to be more responsive to autistic people/tāngata whaitakiwātanga.

“We hope the Guideline will create a better understanding of how to empower people with autism to live full lives and will be widely used by everyone supporting people on the autism spectrum, particularly teachers, carers, families and whānau.”

Areas covered in the guideline include assessment and diagnosis, support for individuals and families, education, mental health and wellbeing, living in the community, professional development - and Māori and Pasifika perspectives.

“A key intent of the document was to capture the individual and collective voices and experiences of those on the autism spectrum, and these feature in the Guideline.”

This newly released third edition of the guideline is being promoted as part of World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April.

"As well as the Guidelines, our KidsHealth website also has some easy to understand information on autism for parents and caregivers."

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