Archived News/Notices

IDEA Services to provide Government funded Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Parent Education - May 2012

The Ministries of Health and Education advise that from 1 May 2012, IDEA Services will be the government funded provider of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) parent education programme. ASD Plus is a programme delivered by IDEA Services and designed specifically for New Zealand families and whanau.

Families and whanau in the South Island and Northland have been able to access ASD Plus since 2009, and from 1 May 2012 families in the remaining areas of New Zealand will be able to take advantage of a flexible programme that can be delivered in a group setting or individually, depending on the needs of the families. 

ASD Plus helps parents and whanau to understand how ASD influences their child, and to learn and practice strategies that support their child’s development. All families will receive individual attention and support.  

Learn more about the ASD Plus: IDEA Services autism education

Read the MOH and MOE Advice notice and frequently asked questions

New Autism Information from New Zealand Guidelines Group (NZGG)

On behalf of the Ministries of Health and Education, the New Zealand Guidelines Group has released new documents that supplement the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline.

New ASD Guideline Advisory Group - December 2010

A new group has been established to advise government agencies on work programmes that involve people with autism.  This group replaces past groups that provided advice on the development of the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline and focus for the implementation of the guideline. The new advisory group will provide their advice to a group of senior government officals.

Autism expert "Unproven treatments may do harm" (NZ Herald) - 17 November 2010

Many autism treatments are unproven and may be harming children, an education specialist says. Professor Jeff Sigafoos of Victoria University says without a more evidence-based approach to education, autistic children are potentially at risk.

Education Review Office (ERO) report: Including Students with High Needs - June 2010

In the report, Including Students with High Needs, ERO recommends that professional learning and development in this area be school-wide rather than solely for individual teachers, sothe whole school can work towrds becoming more inclusive.

Schools lacking in special needs practices (NZ Herald) 10 August 2010

ERO has recommended boosting the ability of schools to have more inclusvice programmes for special needs pupils after finding many schools are lacking in them.

Inclusive Education Action Group (IEAG) Media release

IEAG is disappointed that the report does not highlight the need for a commitment to inclusive education by the Ministry of Education.

 Doctor who linked autism to vaccine banned - 25 May 2010

Dr Andrew Wakefield has been barred from practicing medicine in the UK after his research, which linked autism to a combined vaccine, was branded 'unethical'.

Dr Andrew Wakefield was the first researcher to publish a peer-reviewed study suggesting a connection between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

That prompted legions of parents to abandon the vaccine in moves that epidemiologists feared could lead to outbreaks of the potentially deadly diseases.

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New website resource on Autism Spectrum Disorder for health and education practitioners - 19 April 2010

This website contains guidance on recognition and referral of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for people working in health, disability, education and community settings. ASD resources are drawn from the 'New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline'  and cover areas such as: basic signs and symptoms of ASD, how to refer people for formal diagnosis when you suspect ASD, the formal process of diagnosis.

Further information available includes a Flier, Description of website featuresBackground information implementing the guideline recommendations, and Article on early detection

Contact for any further information: 04 471 4192 or asd "at"

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The OPEN MINDS Circle - 24 February 2010
Evidence-Based Autism Treatment Now "the Rule" in California

As of August 1, 2009, autism treatment provided by California's 21 state-funded regional centers must be limited to evidence-based practices. The regional centers are prohibited from providing or funding any experimental treatments that have not been clinically determined or scientifically proven as an effective and safe treatment as determined by the "National Autism Standards Report" released by the National Autism Center.

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Radio NZ Interview re flaws in study which linked the MMR vaccine with autism - 11 February 2010

Interview with Brian Deer the journalist who uncoverd the serious flaws in the study.

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New Version of Mental Health Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - 10 February 2010 

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has announced the release of a draft of the fifth version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manaul of Mental Disorder (DSM-V).

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Lancet withdraws paper on MMR vaccine (NZ Herald) - 3 February 2010

The controversial research paper that sparked an international scare over MMR vaccine was yesterday withdrawn by The Lancet medical journal, 12 years after it was published.

The Lancet said it had taken the decision following last week's preliminary verdict by a disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council which found the lead author, Andrew Wakefield, and two of his co-authors had acted "dishonestly" and "irresponsibly" in carrying out their research.

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Medical journal retracts study linking autism to vaccine (CNN) - 2 February 2010

The medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.

The study subsequently had been discredited, and last week, the lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research.

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Ministry of Health Disability Support Services - Autism Spectrum Disorder Newsletter - December 2009

This newsletter brings together information about the progress being made to improve autism services for people in New Zealand from some of the key groups who have been involved.

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News from the National Autism Center (USA) 

  • National Standards Project Update
    The National Autism Center (NAC) are happy to announce the National Standards Report, a conclusive guide to effective treatments for kids and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Download the report 
  • National Autism Center Releases New Autism Educator Manual
    We are pleased to make available a comprehensive new manual by the National Autism Center entitled, Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools. To purchase a copy.
  • In the News
    Executive Director Dr. Susan Wilczynski was featured recently on a Fox News (Washington, D.C.) segment about autism in the military. Access the clip through the website!
  • In the Community
    The National Autism Center was honored to collaborate with the Ford Hall Forum recently in presenting a panel discussion in Boston entitled, Autism: Looking Beyond Cause and Cure — Critical questions surrounding one of today’s greatest healthcare challenges. 

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ASD Guideline Implementation Advisory Group - December 2008

The newsletter has information on the process by the Implementation Advisory Group for determining priorities for allocation of funding approved by the Ministry of Health for improving ASD services, as well as other general updates and information.

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ASD Guideline Implementation Advisory Group - April 2008

At the Parliamentary lauch of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Evidence-based Guideline on 2 April 2008, Minister of Health David Cunliffe announced that from May 2008 forwards, work to implement the Guideline would commence. 

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