Covid brings mixed blessings

Tēnā koutou katoa 

Catherine Trezona

This is our first Journal since 2019, with Covid providing all manner of interruptions and disruptions. But as we are all discovering, Covid has also brought opportunities. So, we are doing some new things here at Altogether Autism. 

The first is our Autistics 4 Autistics (A4A) Zoom meetups. 

We are also offering autistic-led network meetings as we travel around the country. Our autistic advisors are sharing the latest on autistic language preferences and hosting an autistic-only meet-up. Check out the events page on our website for details on when we are coming to your region. 

We have formed a relationship with Hidden Disabilities to support education about their sunflower lanyards and related products. 

We offer training to businesses wanting to welcome wearers of the sunflower lanyards.

‘Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyards can be purchased from the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

April was Autism Acceptance month, and we thank everyone who shared videos, stories and insights across our various social media. 

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages if you missed these stories. 

Roman Pulefolau, Catherine Trezona, Carmel Sepuloni, Brian Pulefolau, Betty Pulefolau-Kolose © Life Unlimited 2018

There have been some changes in the members of our advisory groups. We are sad to farewell Betty Pulefolau from the Consumer Advisory Group. Betty has been one of our advisors for many years and is stepping down to focus on her graduate diploma. Thank you Betty for all you, Brian and Roman have contributed to our community and we know Altogether Autism will continue to stay connected to the Pasifika Autism Support Group. 

We have also farewelled Dr Kevin Appleton, psychiatrist, from our Professional Advisory Group. Dr Kev has given us wonderful support and resources. You can read some of his articles on his website, such as Quirky Girls and Autism in Adults. Thank you for all you have contributed to our work, Dr Kev. 

Jane Hughes

Catherine Swan

Joining us as professional advisors are Catherine Swan, developmental paediatrician at Canterbury District Health Board and Jane Hughes, also from Christchurch.  

Over the last decade, Catherine’s focus has been diagnosis and support for autistic children and their whānau. She is also a clinical lecturer at the University of Otago and has five children, so we are fortunate that she has agreed to share her knowledge and experience with us. Jane Hughes is our most recent new professional advisor, as a consultant psychiatrist within a specialist mental health service for adults with an intellectual disability.  

This expertise in both autism and mental health is highly valued and one of the most requested topics from our information service. 


Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes), 

Catherine Trezona – National Manager, Altogether Autism 


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