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NZ IY Parent and Teacher Autism Program Outcomes

On 17 May, 2021, The Ministry of Education and University of Canterbury presented an evaluation report on the implementation of the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher Autism Programs in New Zealand.

The evaluation team was interested in looking at how the IY Parent and Teacher Autism programs might lead to:
1) increased engagement, emotional regulation and communication skills of young children demonstrating behaviours associated with Autism (child outcomes);
2) increased wellbeing and coping skills of parents & caregivers enabling them to better support their child (caregiver outcomes);
3) increased teacher capability to help children demonstrating behaviours associated with Autism (teacher outcomes); and
4) longer term and unintended benefits for those involved and the wider communities (additional benefits).

The evaluation team collected both qualitative and quantitative data from program participants.

For participants who completed the Autism Parenting Program, the evaluation team found a significant reduction in reports of parental stress, improved feelings of confidence, competence, and wellbeing, and an improved home-school relationship.

“It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It made me feel like that it wasn’t bad parenting… So I think for me as a mum I am more confident about what I am doing and therefore I am more relaxed about things” – parent


For teachers who completed the Teacher Autism program, the evaluation team found increased teacher confidence – teachers reported feeling confident about the skills they learned in the Teacher Autism program, in their ability to apply the strategies they learned, and increased frequency of use of these strategies. Further, teachers reported an increase in confidence in their knowledge of ASD.

“I feel like beforehand I didn’t understand this [ASD] child and I didn’t know how to teach these children. Now I feel quite confident that I have the knowledge and some strategies that I can try” – teacher

The evaluation team also looked at the outcomes for children whose parents, caregivers and teachers participated in the IY Autism Parent and Teacher programs. Their findings suggest that there is a positive benefit for children, including some increased child participation and engagement in activities at home and at school.

“He never used to join the mat times but now he is the first one to join everything” – teacher


In interviews with parents, caregivers and teachers, program participants reported an increase in child emotional regulation and communication.

The evaluation team found some additional “unintended” benefits to parents, caregivers and teachers. Parents reported:

  • Improved parental emotion regulation
  • Benefit of establishing social supports and relationships with other program participants
  • Improved understanding of their child, benefiting their relationship with their child, as well as with their spouse/partner
  • Ability to share what they learned with other members of their immediate and extended family

Teachers who completed the Teacher Autism program reported:

  • Increased communication and collaboration between home and school
  • Sharing information with colleagues
  • Increased knowledge of ASD
  • Ability to generalize skills learned in the IY Teacher Autism program to daily practice

Incredible Years would like to thank the Ministry of Education and IY Parent and Teacher Group Leaders in New Zealand for their commitment to implementing IY programs with fidelity through training, consultation and accreditation. These group leaders are the heart and soul of the success of IY program delivery because of their continual support and ability to tailor IY program principles to each child’s unique developmental needs.

Join us for Autism Parent Group Leader Training!

See our website for dates!