General FAQs

What is Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that disrupts the development of social and communication skills, imagination, interests and behaviour. For more information on Autism, please click here.

What causes Autism?

Research suggests that there is no single cause of Autism but there is evidence to suggest that the physical structure of the brain is different in those parts that effect communication and information processed from the senses.

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is where the individual may have an average or above average IQ and may not have had a delay in language development. For more information on Aspergers, please see our Factsheet.

Are there sensory issues with Autism?

Research suggests that over 90% of individuals with Autism have sensory processing difficulties. Some individuals show a hypersensitivity to stimuli, for example, they can hear lights buzzing, cannot tolerate touch, fascinated with spinning objects or must smell everthing. While others display hyposensitivity to stimuli, such as a high pain tolerance or acting as if having a hearing loss.

Can gender influence Autism?

Research suggests that for every 4 males there is 1 female diagnosed with Autism, however as awareness increases the number of females being diagnosed is rising.

How do I get an Autism diagnosis?

For a child, it is a referral from a speech and language therapist, pediatrician, occupational therapist, health visitor or GP to the ASD diagnostic service in your Health and Social Care Trust.

Can an adult get diagnosed with Autism?

Yes, through a referral from a GP into Adult services.

How long will it take to get an Autism diagnosis?

Each Health and Social Care Trust differs, however the target is that the process should be underway within 13 weeks. Please check out 'Autism, a Guide for Families on or contact your local ASD Co-Ordinator. Telephone numbers and e-mails are available here.

How many people are diagnosed with Autism in Northern Ireland?

It is established that there are 30,000 individuals with Autism in Northern Ireland. One in forty children school aged children (4-15) are currently diagnosed as having Autism. To view more statistics, please click here.

What does Autism NI do?

Autism NI works to provide life changing services for the30,000 people affected by Autism throughout Northern Ireland. Autism NI's core activities include: Family Support, Research and Lobbying, Training and Fundraising. For more information on Autism NI's services, please click here. 

How do I contact Autism NI?

You can contact Autism NI through our general e-mail service on or ring 02890401729.

What is Autism NI's registered Charity number and Company Number?

Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100240.

Autism NI is a company limited by guarantee (Company Number NI 058548).

Are there any job or recruitment opportunities with Autism NI?

Please see click here for any available job opportunities.