Autism project the brainchild of passionate colleagues

A passionate group of our staff members launched the Autism/Takiwaatanga Friendly Hospital initiative at Kidz First Children's Hospital back in 2019 with a mission to help make the hospital experience easier for tamariki takiwaatanga (children with autism) and their whaanau.

Autism has a wide range of symptoms and a hospital environment can be quite challenging.

The focus of this initiative was training staff to become Autism Champions so they can better support patients with autism and help improve their experience. 

Counties Manukau partnered with Altogether Autism, who are national autism education experts, to help us develop and deliver the training programme. 

The project was led and driven by Dr. Louise Porteous, a Kidz First Paediatrician, who successfully secured funding for the first two years of trainings. 

She was supported by other like-minded staff within Kidz First to actively promote and develop our autism/takiwaatanga friendly hospital initiative.  

Vanessa Tauti, Play Specialist, who now leads the project at Middlemore Hospital, proudly tells us that since the beginning of the project over seventy staff from across Kidz First inpatient and community settings have been trained to be Autism Champions. 

“This is really inspiring," she says.

“We are really thankful to be supported by the organisation and the people at Counties who lead the disability mahi to expand the reach of this project,” 

Please contact Vanessa Tauti to learn more about the project

April is Autism Acceptance Month and a great chance to increase your own awareness of Autism. 

Find more information on Autism here.

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