Failure to provide kids with adequate support in schools could have a life long impact.
In some schools across the country, as many as one-in-three students are getting someone to help them read and write their exams.
But the high cost of this support means students at low-decile schools aren't getting the help they need from special needs coordinators.
Autism New Zealand chief executive Dane Dougan told Kate Hawkesby it has the potential to impact several aspects of their lives.
"If you get the right supports in place and the right training in place then that child can go on to live to their full potential, which obviously flows on outside of school and to employment and life in general, so it's a critical area to get right."
LISTEN ABOVE AS DANE DOUGAN SPEAKS WITH KATE HAWKESBY