Takiwātanga is an interpretation of autism derived from the notion of “tōku/tōna anō takiwā,” meaning, “my/ his/ her own time and space.”
It is a way to honour autistic people and is intended to be a source of strength for anyone that can relate to people being accepted for who they are and being allowed to have “their own time and space.”
Te Tau Tītoki has this view at its core and acknowledges that autism is intrinsically personal for everyone on the spectrum.
The name is in reference to the whakataukī, Ā te tau titoki which means, “when the titoki fruits.”
The valued titoki tree does not fruit regularly but does in its own time, an allusion to autistic people blooming in their own time and space.
Te Tau Tītoki was developed utilising a co-design process that brought people together to share ideas and discuss what meaningful support for autistic people looks like.
The views of autistic individuals, parents, whānau and a range of different support providers are presented through detailed competencies as well as stories of lived experience.
Ultimately the framework reflects the views of people relying on support and their advocates. It is presented in a manner that links directly to service provision and guides professional practice.
The framework is intended to be used as part of any environment which supports the wellbeing of autistic people or their whānau.
Autistic people may also find it beneficial as they seek highly skilled professionals and advocate for quality services.
The framework is a response to identified gaps in knowledge and training across the disability sector and is consistent with recommendations from the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline.