Way to Play

Playing joyously with a child on the Autism Spectrum

Way to Play is a one-day introduction to playing with children on the Autism Spectrum. Playing with a child with autism can be challenging, so the Way to Play workshop offers simple, easy to use strategies to begin playing joyously together.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will learn to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of play for a young child with autism.
  • Use simple play strategies such as pretend play, playing with toys and being a guide.
  • Identify methods of play such as, pattern, memory, variation and interrupting.
  • Set play goals.
  • Identify their role in playing with a young child.
  • Identify the style of play that best suits the child.

WHO: Way to Play is specifically designed for parents/caregivers/whānau, health and education professionals, and anyone directly involved with a young child on the Autism Spectrum, who want some practical strategies for how to play in fun and exciting ways together.

WHEN & WHERE (2018) Venues TBC

(All programmes are subject to change and more may also be added, for email updates:http://www.autismnz.org.nz/about_us/join )

Christchurch, 8 March
Wellington, 22 March
Auckland, 23 March
Nelson, 9 April
Taranaki, 11 April (10am–4pm)
Waikato, 18 May
Hawkes Bay, 21 May
Whanganui, 23 May
Dunedin, 24 May (10am–4pm)
Wairarapa, 5 July (10am–4pm)
Auckland, 30 July
Waikato, 13 August
Tauranga, 23 August
Gisborne, 30 August (10am–4pm)
Taupo, 4 September 
Auckland, 17 September
Greymouth, 17 September (10am–4pm)
Manawatu, 18 September (10am–4pm)
Marlborough, 23 October (10am–4pm)
Rotorua, 25 October (10am–4pm)
Invercargill, 30 October (10:30am–4:30pm)
Waikato, 12 November
Lower Hutt, 15 November
Christchurch, 27 November
Auckland, 30 November

TIME: 9.30am–3.30pm (one-day), unless otherwise advised

VENUE: Venue details provided after registration

COST per person (subject to change):

  • Family/Whanau: $20.00
  • Professionals: $100.00

HOW: Please complete the Way to Play Registration Form and return to:
training@autismnz.org.nz Phone: (04) 803 3501 Fax: (04) 803 3502
Postal Address:
Autism New Zealand, PO Box 33481, Petone, Lower Hutt 5046

This form can be filled in electronically. A printable version, or a large-text version of this form is available on request, please email training@autismnz.org.nz. If you require a different accessibility option please email your query and we will see how we can help.

Our Educators (subject to change)

Neil Stuart, Education & Training Director: Neil has over 20 years experience working with children with Autism. He has developed a large number of education and training programmes, including Way to Play, Framework for Autism in New Zealand (FANZ), Tilting the Seesaw, and many more. Neil also has considerable experience working with children with Autism in the mainstream classroom both in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. This has included managing satellite classes in mainstream schools and advising schools on how best to include pupils with autism.

Tanya Catterall, National Educator: Tanya is a mother of two daughters, one of whom is on the Autism Spectrum. She is an EarlyBird Trainer and has worked as a Teacher Aide in a Special School. Tanya is a joint contributor and developer of the Autism New Zealand suite of education programmes and travels the country delivering them. Her valuable experience living with someone with autism provides excellent insight and adds a realistic, down-to-earth parent perspective to our programmes.


Quote from a parent who participated in the Way to Play workshop :

"The tools we were taught has boosted my confidence in playing with my son. I feel like I understand him better and know how to help him when he struggles".

Important Information

Way to Play website: The Way to Play website is an extension of the one-day workshop. Participants can continue their journey of joyful play to support young children with autism and receive ongoing coaching and support from our coaches. For more information, please visit www.waytoplay.co.nz
Payment must be made prior to the workshop to confirm your place. We have various payment options available (cheque, credit card, direct banking and invoice).
Programme Cancellation Policy:
Cancellations must be sent in writing, (mailed or emailed), to Autism New Zealand. Cancellations received up to 30 days prior to the course date receive a full refund, less a 10% handling fee. Cancellations received less than 30 days and up to seven days prior to the course will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations received within seven days of the course; however a substitute delegate may be nominated.
The programme runs from 9.30am – 3.30pm unless otherwise advised.
(Maximum number: 25 people, minimum number: 10 people).

Includes wider family members and caregivers. Students (16+ years) are also welcome.
Registration Note:
Confirmation of your registration will be on a first-booked/paid basis.