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Ministry of Education.

The Incredible Years Autism (for parents)

What is the Incredible Years Autism programme (for parents)?

The Incredible Years Autism is a 14 session, group-based programme for parents of children aged 2–5 on the autism spectrum. By supporting the skills and confidence of the key adults in the lives of children on the autism spectrum, it aims to promote children’s emotional regulation, positive social interactions, language development and relationships with others.

The programme covers:

  • Child-directed narrated play promotes positive relationships
  • Pre-academic and persistence coaching promotes language development and school readiness
  • Social coaching promotes friendship skills
  • Emotion coaching promotes emotional literacy
  • Pretend play promotes empathy and social skills
  • Promoting children’s self-regulation skills
  • Using praise and rewards to motivate children
  • Limit setting and behaviour management. 

This programme is being offered in the following regions in 2018:

  1. Auckland
  2. Tauranga
  3. Hawke’s Bay
  4. Wellington
  5. Nelson
  6. Christchurch
  7. Invercargill.

What is involved?

Parents and caregivers meet for 2.5 hours each week, over a period of 14 weeks, to explore parenting strategies. The programme is highly interactive, collaborative and self-directed, and driven by the child’s developmental abilities and goals.

How to access the programme

Parents of children on the autism spectrum can be referred to the programme by early learning services or schools, health professionals and community organisations, or they can refer themselves. Referrals are made by contacting your local programme provider.

Confirmed programme dates and provider contact details:

Region Start date End date Provider name Provider contact details
Auckland 7 August 2018 (North & West)
 8 August 2018 (Central & East)
 9 August 2018 (South & South West)
TBC Ministry of Education Joleen Millward
09 632 9400
Bay of Plenty (Tauranga) 7 August 2018
 8 August 2018
13 November 2018
 14 November 2018
Te Whanau Kotahi Gill Duncan
 07 571 4768
Hakwe's Bay (Napier) 6 April 2018 10 August 2018 Ministry of Education IncredibleYears.Autism@education.govt.nz
Hawke's Bay (Napier) 18 June 2018 17 September 2018 Napier Family Service Centre

Heather Osborne


 Andrea Driver

Wellington 17 May 2018 23 August 2018 Incredible Families

Diana Linforth-Howden
 027 474 5869


 Jane Dunbier
 027 418 2671

Nelson Marlborough Westport (Motueka) 28 May 2018 24 September 2018 Motueka Family Service Centre Blyda Mackey
 03 528 0234
Christchurch 19 June 2018 2 October 2018 Presbyterian Support Upper South Island (Family Works) Janice Huddy
 03 363 8214
Southland (Invercargill) 2 May 2018 15 August 2018 Presbyterian Support Southland (Family Works) Margaret Whittington
 03 211 8240

Support materials

Parent reflections on the programme (You Tube video)

Who to contact

For more information about the programme, contact:  incredibleyears.autism@education.govt.nz

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