Our Services

Autism NI (PAPA) is Northern Ireland's Autism charity. The organisation, initially evaluated by the Social Services Inspectorate (SSI, DHSSPS) every three years, is now monitored annually by AHSSPS. The charity is further enhanced by its long history of independently monitoring requirements. Our services include:

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Autism NI's Family Support team offers support to parents/carers of newly diagnosed children as well as support to families who have been living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for longer periods. Autism NI has a family support team who are committed to supporting all families with many issues and challenges they may face. 

Our Family Support team offers a regional Helpline by calling 02890401729 (Option 1) from Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm and Tuesday and Friday 9.00am-1.30pm. 

We currently have 20 Family Support Groups across Northern Ireland offering support to thousands of parents and carers and indviduals with ASD. To find out more about our Support Groups, please click here.

We also provide (depending on available funding) Family Support workshops for parents and carers. To check for available courses in your area, please click here

Please visit Family Support for further information.

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The Autism NI training service aims to provide information and teach various strategies, practical solutions and a range of interventions for parents, carers, family members and professionals at all different levels. Whether you are new to Autism and want some basic training, to developing your knowledge of a specific topics such as social skills and growing up, we can provide you with the course you need.

The training department also manages a range of specialist projects involving pioneering work, partnerships and consultations aimed at taking forward ASD related strategies and also provides tailor made, training packages for staff and volunteers from a wide range of organisations.

Our accredited training courses are delivered by experienced trainers with a range of skills and in depth knowledge on Autism.

For more information on our range of Training courses, please click here

Young People, Autism and Criminal Justice

Due to the success of the 'Young People, Autism and Criminal Justice project, Autism NI have received a further years funding from the Big Lottery to continue this project regionally. We have will continue to provide Autism Awareness training for all PSNI officers and Criminal Justice Agencies across Northern Ireland. We will also be providing 'training for trainers' in order for more professions to deliver our very successful 10 week 'Skills for Staying Safe' programme across Northern Ireland. This means more youth groups can avail of this programme. 

This project also provides a range of resources such as the Autism Alert Card and 'We Think Safe' website, which can help young people stay safe in the community and at home.

Fore more information on the 'Young People, Autism and Criminal Justice' project, please click here

RAFT Early Intervention Service

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The RAFT (Reaching Autism Families Together) early intervention service is a partnership service, led by Autism NI, which aims to build and strengthen relationships for families of children with Autism aged 12 and under in the Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey areas. They:

  • Encourage early childhood intervention through practical skills training
  • Set up and run support groups for family members in the community
  • Engage in home-based programmes for up to 6 weeks
  • Provide training courses for parents and family members


Autism NI’s ongoing lobbying efforts are based upon a general campaign of Autism Awareness. The main activities in this campaign are focused on Autism Awareness Month and the United Nations Designated 'World Autism Awareness Day' (2nd April).

The focus of the lobby has been to improve understanding and promote the need for specialist services for Autism. In 2002, Autism NI began its political lobby armed with the shameful evidence of need in the Task Group, an Autism Report the accelerating prevalence rates for ASD in Northern Ireland and the disproportionately low levels of funding for support services.

As the tension between lack of resources and dramatically accelerating demand became acute Autism NI launched its campaign for a Strategic & Legislative answer. Through hard work, lobbying and the establishment of great partnerships with the All Party Group in Autism (APGA), Parents Autism Lobby (PAL) and the Celtic Nations Autism Partnership (CNAP); the historic Autism Act (NI) in 2011 led by Autism NI was obtained and enacted on August 9th 2011. Autism is now fully engaged in the post legislation process. To read more about the Autism Act NI, please click here

Autism NI has built its Lobby on researched evidence and partnership building. Please visit Campaigning for further information.


Autism NI receives minimal funding from the Statutory Sector - largely due to the lack of recognition of the need to fund Family Support Services despite the building evidence that this is a critical core service.

Fundraising is a fun way to get involved and raise money to make a difference in the services provided for the Autism community. Our fundraising department offers a range of fundraising events throughout the year, from attending one of our fund

Please visit our "Get Involved" Section for further information on what you can do to support our efforts.


Organisation Name: Autism NI (PAPA)

Autism NI is a company limited by guarantee (Company Number NI 058548) and an Inland Revenue approved charity (reference number XR 22944).

Registered with the Northern Ireland Charity Commission Number: NIC 100240

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