NZ Autism Education Day: Focus on the Early Start Denver Model Event as iCalendar

18 March 2019

8:30am - 5pm

Venue: Epsom Campus

Contact info: Hiran Thabrew

Contact email:

This event is an education day for practitioners working with children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  

The aim of our event is to improve connection between practitioners from different areas and help to identify key future directions for the assessment and treatment for children and young people with ASD.  


Keynote speakers

Professor Sally J. Rogers

Professor Sally J. Rogers is a developmental psychologist, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Director of Training and Mentoring at the MIND Institute, University of California Davis. 

Her current research focuses on developing effective interventions for infants and toddlers with autism that families and professionals can deliver.  In addition to research, she is also a clinician, providing evaluation, treatment, and consultation to infants, children and adults with autism and their families. The empirically supported early intervention model that she developed with Geri Dawson and other colleagues - the Early Start Denver Model - is internationally known and was recognised by and Autism Speaks as one of the 10 main medical breakthroughs of 2012 and its materials have been translated into 15 languages.

Cheryl Dissanayake

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake is the founding Director of Australia's first research centre dedicated to autism, the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, established in 2008 at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia.

Her key research interests include autism in infancy and early childhood; early identification and intervention; and social-emotional and social-cognitive development. Professor Dissanayake oversees the research program at the Margot Prior Autism Intervention Centre at La Trobe University where they implement group-based ESDM (G-ESDM).

This event will be of interest to psychiatrists, psychologists, paediatricians, counsellors, behavioural therapists, educational professionals and others. 

Date and time: Monday 18 March, 8:30am to 5pm

Venue: University of Auckland Epsom Campus  (Details will be forwarded to successfully registered participants).

Registration: Free (but places limited, so please book early)

To register or for other enquiries, please email Hiran Thabrew

Registration Closes: 1st March 2019



8.30-9.00      Formal welcome (Māori powhiri by Kaumatua (elder)) and welcome to speakers
9.00-10.30         Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): the challenges and choices facing parents, researchers, and early interventionists (Sally Rogers)
10.30-11.00    Morning tea
11.00-12.30    10 Years of Research at the Olga Tennison Austism Research Centre - from early childhood to adulthood (Cheryl Dissanayake)
12.30-1.30 Lunch and conversation/connection
1.30-2.00 The current landscape of ASD assesment and treatment in NZ (Hiran Thabrew and Anisha Vishwanathan)
2.00-2.30 The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) in New Zealand (Hannah Waddington and Larah van der Meer)
2.30-3.00 Small group discussion to generate questions for panel disucssion (tea and coffee available)
3.00-4.45 Panel discussion about cross cultural implementation models and next steps for NZ
4.45-5.00 Closing