Tanya's Work

Tanya specialises in autism, neurodiversity and intellectual disability. She works with people individually, but can also support their partners and family members, and liaise with schools, services, and other professionals. Tanya prefers to work from a strengths and rights perspective, and she uses behavioural and cognitive-behavioural strategies.
Tanya consults to agencies, NGOs and Ministries on autism, disability and neurodiversity issues. She also works within the New Zealand court system as an expert witness when autistic or neurodiverse people, or people with disabilities, are complainants, defendants or subject to court orders.
Tanya is a competent and entertaining public speaker, and frequently presents at national and international workshops and conferences.


Tanya completed the following qualifications at the University of Waikato, NZ:

  • B.Soc. Sci. (Psychology and Education), 1985
  • M.Soc. Sci. (1st Hons. Psychology), 1988
  • Dip. Psyc. (Clin.), 1988

Tanya is also currently enrolled in the Doctor of Health Science programme at Auckland University of Technology. She expects to complete this in mid to late 2019. For this research, Tanya is focusing on autism and the criminal justice system.

Project Involvement

  • Leader of Workstream 3 for the development of the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline, and member of the Living Guideline Group (responsible for updating the guideline)
  • New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline: Implementation Advisory Group
  • New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline: Specialists’ Training Package
  • Working with People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Guideline for Ministry of Health Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Organisations
  • Establishment, membership, and co-ordination of Professional Experts Group, Altogether Autism
  • Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003
  • Development and training of “Health Practitioner’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Training Toolkit” for The Werry Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Professional Affiliations

  • Registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board, under the ‘clinical’ scope of practice since 1988
  • New Zealand Psychological Society
  • New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline: Living Guidelines Group
  • Institute of Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology Associate, University of Waikato
  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability
  • Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law
  • Ann Craft Trust (formerly known as the National Association for the Protection from Sexual Abuse of Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities), United Kingdom