What We Do
at Autism Connex

Autism Connex is all about CONNECTING with families. We are families who have children with Autism doing life together. We aim to create an environment where our parents are celebrated. A place where children of all ages are happy, safe and where all behaviors are accepted. Autism CONNEX get together monthly and it is a time where families are celebrated, supported and encouraged.

The group is growing steadily, with more than 80 families currently registered. We are passionate about supporting more families, and are fundraising for a purpose-built facility.

Mission & Vision

The mission of our organisation is to support, empower, and celebrate families on the journey. Our vision is to extend existing services and provide an Autism care centre based in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

What our families are saying

“Autism Connex have become our family. We look forward to meeting with parents who are on a similar journey to ours; sharing anecdotes, information & tips to make life easier. We also truly appreciate the care & understanding of the volunteers who play with & look after our children whilst we can relax. Autism Connex make living with Autism a more enjoyable experience!”


“Autism Connex has been an amazing support for myself. Being able to talk to other people who understand what you are going through is very helpful. Although every person’s story is different, because every child with ASD is different, the stress and understanding is the same. Being able to take my daughter somewhere, where she won’t be judged or bullied if she has a meltdown or does things differently is an awesome feeling. I don’t have to watch her every second in case she does something unusual. I can relax and talk to other adults who understand and that is a very rare thing for me to do. Thank you to Theresa Tongi and the Volunteers for all their hard work. All are very amazing people.”


“Theresa and her team are driven and determined and push on when others are happy to coast. Every meeting we attend we see more and more new faces coming to be in a safe, non-judgmental environment where we can share stories, experiences and concerns for the future. I think if we could remove autism from our children we would in a heartbeat, but with Autism Connex it makes it that much easier to bear. It’s great to meet parents with children on the spectrum older than our boys and learn from their experiences, and also parents with younger children who can learn from ours.”


“I have been taking my 17 year old son who has Autism to the Autism Connex group meetings since they started running. They have been an invaluable source of support to us both. It is a very welcoming place we can go to and be supported by other people going through the same situation, and for my son somewhere he can play and interact with other children without being judged for his differences. We are looking forward to being able to utilise the respite care service as this will be a vital part of socialising for my son and for myself some much-needed time out. Theresa and the other volunteers have done an amazing job getting this group up and running as there is a very real need for a service of this kind for the many parents with special needs children who may otherwise feel isolated and alone.”


“I love serving, I get the Autism Connex Vision and want to help grow it?” 


“I want to keep doing Autism Connex because I want to be a part of this movement and changing these families lives. I love seeing the children every month and the smiles on their faces when they come and the parents too. I also want to help Tee and Pat with their vision of opening a centre” 


“I have been part of Autism Connex from day one. Not understanding Autism myself and not knowing  much about it, I thought this was a great opportunity for me to get involved and help out in any way I can. Since then, 4 years on, I feel as though I have learnt so much through Autism Connex and gained so much more understanding of Autism.  I also know that there’s so much more for us to learn through ASD. I believe that everyone has the right to live a normal life, God made us all the same so with that being said, I do it for the children and their families and caregivers.”


“I want to do service in this field. This gives me an opportunity to give back”


“I wish to alleviate that desperate feeling parents can feel. Initially, for me it is giving parents hope. I want the children to be supported in who they are.”


I want to continue my learning journey and to give back to a community that gives me so much.”


I love being able to help bring smiles to parents by providing a relaxing time with yummy afternoon tea that really blesses people.”


“I love serving and I get the Autism Connex vision. I want to be part of it! I love being able to be part of the catering team!”


“I have been there from the beginning and will be there until the end!”


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