ASIST – The Autistic Spectrum Intervention Support Trust
ASIST was formed to raise awareness of childhood autism and to reduce the financial burden on families whose children are receiving Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy. Since it was developed in the United States in the 1960s, ABA has evolved into a flexible therapy program that can dramatically improve the outcome for children with autism, regardless of their initial abilities.
The positive first-hand experiences of ASIST parents have been matched by international studies that show the efficacy of ABA. Yet while this successful therapy is publicly funded in many western countries, it is not publicly funded in New Zealand.
We believe that the improved quality of life offered by ABA treatment should not be contingent on a family’s ability to pay, and we recognise that, in New Zealand, families who are seeking to manage autism do so with marginal levels of support.
ASIST raises funds for ABA therapy in order to make it more accessible to children and young people with autism. We are intent on promoting and expanding ABA services, and we advocate for ABA to become a publicly funded health option.
We also know that families who have children with autism can feel stressed and isolated and that we have a role in developing an autistic community, in order to share ideas and support. With our support, families can start to come to terms with the realities of autism and find ways of managing it.