Citations from Parents

  • Aidan & Rainy Fraser - Ray, who is almost four, has been having ABA therapy since his diagnosis at 18 months old.  Results were apparent almost immediately, with him beginning to speak and engage in an unprecedented way and he continues to benefit from regular therapy sessions. Ray's therapists have given us strategies and a framework to help him learn in a way that suits him and supported our family through any challenges we've faced.  Ray is happy and bright and loves to learn, achieve and play.
  • Kjesten Nilsson & Russell Thomlinson Our eldest son was diagnosed with ASD at age 5, and we had many years struggling with difficult behaviours before we discovered ABA therapy. He had shown from an early age he was gifted but was precocious, hyperactive and non-compliant. His behaviour was making school life very difficult. Tantrums abounded and his behaviour affecting our other younger children, and making life extremely stressful for us as parents. Our beautiful boy is now 10 and a year after starting ABA therapy, has learnt strategies to self-manage stress and anxiety and is able to cope successfully at school most of the time.
  • Melanie Stevenson & Alex Gilks - Ten whole years of ABA therapy has significantly helped George learn to communicate better and more readily, and develop much better motor and social skills. And it has helped vastly with managing his anxiety. He’s a happier boy who can go places and adapt to situations more easily. Excellent therapists have helped get our boy and us on track with doing chores and learning about independent living, and integrating strategies with teacher aides and the team at school. 
  • Megan & Tim Gibson Josh was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. He had no eye contact or speech. We got onto ABA and it has been the best thing we have done for Josh. We have been doing therapy for 7 years and have seen great results. He has speech, is at a mainstream school, and is getting along with his peers.
  • Alena & Justin Wafer Toby was diagnosed at 4 1⁄2 years with mild ASD, also known as Aspergers Syndrome. He was a very anxious child and struggled to pick up information through social cues – he needed to be taught everything. Five years on, Toby is a very bright and intelligent 10 year old, who is mainly unassisted in the classroom. He has a wonderful sense of humour and is a caring, sweet boy. We attribute his progress to ABA therapy, the therapists and his family who have all worked hard to ensure Toby has a brighter future. We still use ABA to ensure he is reaching his potential and to give his classroom teacher strategies, but Toby is pretty much able to function indistinguishably from his peers.
  • Antonie & Lee Vandervis We tried many other therapies here and overseas, but the only thing that has worked for Lukas has been ABA. The consistency of the programme ensures that he works on his learning goals until they are achieved. ABA has also helped us as parents to deal with behavioural issues and
    to provide Lukas with structures in his daily routines that he needs to progress in his development.
  • Nicola & Kerry Herbert 10 years on from our son’s diagnosis, Ryan attends a local Dunedin high school unaided and enjoys taking part in class and some external activities. Ryan no longer fits the diagnostic criteria for Autism as diagnosed by a local Clinical Physiologist, after 8 years of ABA therapy. In her words, we put this down to the tremendous effort put in by Ryan, our family, his therapists and support network of the ABA programme he was taking part in. Although Ryan still works on some anxiety issues, he has not lost his thoughtful and humorous nature and continues to be a very caring boy. We still see a huge light at the end of a very long tunnel we once found ourselves facing. 

Otago Children’s Autism Support Group Contacts


Nicola Herbert
ph: (03) 454 6567


Lynlee von Ballmoos
ph: (03) 453 4812

Grants Officer

Rachel Mortimer
ph (03) 453 0757