How to access the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service

How to get support for a child or young person.

We can support children and young people with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs

Support from our Service usually occurs after a referral from an Educational Psychologist on behalf of parents and carers and the educational setting which the child attends.

The Educational Psychologist’s referral will detail your child’s strengths, the impact of their autism and their educational needs. We will consult with your child’s school, as well as speaking to you, as parents or carers. From this we will produce a tailored support programme.

If your child is under assessment or has received a diagnosis of autism and has not been referred to AAIS, we can provide advisory support for both parents and teachers at this stage of the journey. These are known as Parent Consultations and School Consultations.

If you think your child has a learning need, you can talk to a number of professionals for advice, including medical or social care professionals within your Health and Social Care Trust, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in your child’s educational setting or setting staff in pre-school settings.

Can a parent or carer refer a child or young person to this Service?

A referral to AAIS must be made via an EA Educational Psychologist (EP) via the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).

If you have a concern about your child, speak to their teacher or a healthcare professional, such as a GP or social worker, who will be able to provide advice and guidance on the issue.  

How is a child or young person referred to the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service?

Pre-school Aged Children

If your child has a diagnosis of autism and an identified Special Educational Need (SEN), they may be referred to this Service by an EA Educational Psychologist (EP).

If your child is under assessment for autism and has an identified SEN, they may be referred to the Education Authority’s Special Educational Needs Early Years Inclusion Service (SENEYIS).

If your child has not been referred to, or is not being supported by either AAIS or SENEYIS, and you believe they may have autism, you can talk to several professionals for advice. These include medical or social care professionals and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in your child’s school.

The SENEYIS page provides further information on their referral process.

Primary and Post-Primary Aged Children

If your child or young person has a diagnosis of autism and an identified Special Educational Need (SEN), they may be referred to AAIS by the EA Educational Psychologist (EP).

If your child or young person has not been referred to us, and you believe that they may have autism or a SEN arising from autism, you can talk to several professionals for advice. These include medical or social care professionals and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in your child or young person’s school.

What Happens Following a Referral to the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service?

The Autism Advisory and Intervention Service is made up of three teams which focus specifically on meeting the needs of Early Years, Primary and Post-Primary pupils. 

Once a referral is received and it meets the referral criteria, a member of the Service will be assigned as a school contact for your child.

Your AAIS school contact will then gather information from a range of sources which may include, from you, your child and your child’s school.  They may also need to observe your child; you will be advised of this in advance.

Once information is gathered, recommendations may then be suggested to the educational setting.

For more details on to how to access support from the Service see our Making a Referral and Timeline and Criteria information. 

Level of Support

For many children and young people with a diagnosis of autism, their specific needs can be met within their educational setting.

The support provided by AAIS is based on the specific needs of each child. If required, we can provide resources, training, advice and guidance for parents or carers and/or educational settings. We can also provide support and work directly with your child if it is required, based on the information gathered.

Support can be provided with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs being in place.  

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Contact the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service

The Autism Advisory and Intervention Team can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, autism.