How did I get the diagnosis?

The appointment and date assessed were September 12, 2022. That day was a really wet day and silly me before entering the room to do the assessment forgot my wet weather gear to keep dry. This was also a bit stressful time period too due to personal reasons don’t wish to disclose this as I write this to you all and to hopefully let you know more about me behind each of my diagnoses as after all, I am still human like you all.


 Nick Stoneman

Nick was the first one to suggest or recommend to me to get myself re-assessed to see if anything has changed based on the diagnosis that I received when I was 16 years old as a final diagnosis at the time of Aspergers Syndrome which is now not in the DSM-5 manual which you can find out more by clicking here. My autistic Advocate – Works as a  Disability Navigator, CEO, and founder of the NZ Disability Trust that is located in Christchurch, New Zealand. This isn’t a government-funded organization as it relies heavily on community donations and members of the public.


Who is the NZ Disability Advisory Trust?


  • The NZ Disability Advisory Trust was formed in early 2019 as it was clear that an alternative service was needed in terms of effective advocacy for those living on a mainstream benefit issued by the Ministry of Social Development. It soon became clear that support and advocacy were needed in several other areas and we now support and advocate for those with Mental Health and Neurological Disorders and those needing their voices heard in the wider community.


Their aim is just one and that is to assist you as the client to achieve the outcome you seek.

Their Commitment

They are committed to helping the community, that’s why we have dedicated teams in Christchurch and on the West Coast.

Working with you for you.

Their Christchurch team will assist you anywhere you may be in the South Island while our West Coast team is ready to assist you anywhere on the West Coast of the South Island.”

Services we provide but are not necessarily limited to include:

  • Housing
  • Work & Income Appointments
  • Government Appointed Roles
  • ACC Work
  • Ministry of Education Work
  • Access Matters

Navigation & Support with:

  • Ministry of Social Development (Work and Income)
  • Ministry of Education
  • Oranga Tamariki (Child, Youth & Family Services)
  • Employment Dispute Navigation
  • Accident Compensation (ACC)
  • Access Matters Aotearoa
  • Private Primary Health
  • Assessments
  • Ongoing Support and Information
  • Community Presentations

Key Offerings

We will assist you in moving through beau acratic processes where you may feel uncomfortable or threatened by the process.

Support Services they provide:

  • Disability Support Services



NZ Disability Advisory Trust
Phone: 022 186 4838 or Phone: 027 766 5440 or toll-free in NZ is 0508 347 224


Visit  on the Web: (Just a note inside here is that at the moment that they’re upgrading the site if you were to find them)

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Helen Kakas – Connector of Manawhaikaha

One of the many connectors for this organisation for the different regions of New Zealand and that she's in the Manawatu Region to assist others in need. 

What or who is Manawhaikaha?

Mana Whaikaha is a disability support system offering disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori, families, whānau, and aiga more choice and control over their supports to best suit and tailor for their accommodation needs.


What do they offer?

Find out more by clicking here: 
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Outside of office hours contact

If you need to contact Mana Whaikaha outside of office hours, please call 027 236 6145 to speak to the On-Call Connector.

Additional information:




Visit Enabling Good Lives

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Through Enabling Good Lives, disabled people and their whanau can choose to increase the choice and control they have in their lives and support.




The aim for me was to see if there were any changes during and after my assessment:

  • Accessor name – Did say her name at the time of meeting her and getting the assessment done but for this purpose alone as I write this I want to make sure her privacy is safe and respected.
  • Name of the assessment – Specific Learning Disorder Assessment – This is to test young children of any learning disorder such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum, etc.
  • Duration of the assessment – 2-3hrs maximum


SPELADD is a not-for-profit organization and registered Charity, established in 1999. We provide support and services for people with learning differences such as dyslexia, other specific learning difficulties (SLD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  We also provide help for parents/families, educators, employers, and the wider community of people with SLDs.

Services they provide –

  • Tutors
  • Programs and tools that are specifically designed for parents and children to help with their accommodation needs


    Their office is in the Grand Building opposite All Saints’ Church, Church Street, Palmerston North



To enable those with specific learning difficulties (SLD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to reach their full potential. We operate in the lower central North Island from our base in Palmerston North.

Their  Vision: 

That every individual with SLD or ADHD has their learning needs recognised and met; and for educators and other agencies to share knowledge in a collaborative way for the good of all.

Their Mission: 

To enable and facilitate the recognition, remediation, and referral of those who learn differently to encourage their success and enjoyment of life-long learning.

 Achieve this Through:

  • In-depth assessment of needs and strengths by specially trained assessors.
  • Targeted programs of tutoring for students who need individual help.
  • In-depth training for tutors and other educators.
  • Access to information via our seminars, website, newsletter, and library.


  • Using a variety of assessment tools, areas of strength and weakness will be identified and form the basis of a detailed personalised recommendation.
  • An assessment takes up to three hours and is in the form of an interview and a series of tests. Parents are welcome to attend.
  • A full report written by our assessor is then emailed out. This will determine what to do next.
  • A follow-up discussion of the results is recommended.

During the Assessment what happened?

The accessor and I were talking briefly about my past diagnosis and who diagnosed me and when and told her that I was accessed by David Drawbridge at the time in 2012 and then reassessed again when I was 16 during my studies at UCOL Palmerston North.
We shared briefly based on my understanding and her own about what autism is or more specifically it was Aspergers Syndrome at the time and how we agreed that this term is almost non-existent in the DSM—5 manual of diagnosis and that this will also depend on each individual about how they wish to be diagnosed on this particular condition. Click here for more details about this topic on Why Aspergers isn’t a diagnosis anymore.

We then discussed during the time I was there a little bit about my past and how I felt about the diagnosis, how I cope and deal with it on a daily, any relationships if so how is it going and what I feel, etc.
After this, we then moved on to what I do to help me with my diagnosis of managing it and all I shared with her that during the time of the diagnosis and still to this day, I do some journaling, and counseling if I needed it, to keep calm with my anxiety I usually listen to music, dance.
I told her that I don’t take any medications at the moment that doctors or any specialists may feel best to prescribe me be it anti-depressants I feel is the last resort to be given until the person feels that they need them as well as not believing in taking Ritalin as told her my view on this and that she tried her best to understand this as well as telling her that the remedies I do to help assist me at the moment are taking supplements such as my multi-vitamins and minerals, fish supplements, evening primrose oil and some for my other parts of my health such as my nails, hair, etc along with just looking after my physical health and or appearance.
She suggested to me with the help of the assistance of WINZ or registered with them that I could possibly go to a naturopath to see if there are any other deficiencies that I may have by taking a hair sample along with also maybe doing a hearing test needed as she asked me when was the last time I had one and I said to her that I couldn’t remember the actual date and all.

After all these questions and investigating more of what was shared with her, we then moved on to the actual assessment that is designed for young children and that there were a few weaknesses that I got some remained the same as per last time I accessed many years ago.  After this was finished, she felt strongly I have ADHD as well. I thought this when first did my assessment many years ago as did share my diagnosis story of my Aspergers Diagnosis Journey which you can click here

How I felt after the diagnosis was a bit of a relief and weight off my shoulders, to say the least, yet I do have the struggles that I face every day as an autistic and a person with ADHD along with many different mental illnesses. At the moment, I am currently seeking out a support person to assist me in my everyday needs as well as have a life that I can live independently as much as I can as I am independent and strong-willed, and goal-focused. I know that I am different from all people yet after all I am still human no matter what my diagnoses are, I do my utter best to strive for what I hope to accomplish and or achieve in my life. My journey is still a journey to explore and self-discover and so much more than anyone else.

To find out more about me – I shall post a  blog post will be about steps here in NZ to take for getting a diagnosis of autism or ADHD.

Stay Tuned!

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