Support Available to schools

Find out about the support available to educational settings.

Support available

The Autism Advisory Intervention Service (AAIS) supports children/young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) arising from difficulties in the following SEN Categories, which the Education Authority (EA) and schools are required to use to record children with SEN:

  • Social, Behavioural, Emotional and Well-being (SBEW) 
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) 

The AAIS is a regional service made up of a team of professionals with knowledge, understanding and specific training in autism. The team is divided into three phases:

  • The Early Years team support children from the age of 2 until the end of P2.
  • The Primary team support pupils from P3 (6/7 years old) to the end of P7. 
  • The Post-primary team support pupils from Year 8 to the end of their statutory school education.

We provide training, advice and support within all phases of mainstream schools, specialist provisions (such as Autism Specific Classes and Learning Support Classes) and in special school settings.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) may also access resources via local AAIS offices and via the training programme. We offer various online and school-based training courses. Further information is available in the Children and Young People’s Service Training Programme.


One of our roles is to support children and young people and their parents/carers, while also building capacity within educational settings and schools. We offer a regional and school-based training programme, specifically designed for school staff across each of the three phases.   

This includes an online training programme that school staff may access via the Children and Young People’s Service Training Programme.  Alternatively, your school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) can request face-to-face training via your AAIS school contact.

At key transition periods, training for parents, carers and school staff across all phases is also available.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) Consultation

School staff who teach pupils undergoing an assessment for autism, or who are not referred to the Service, should always seek advice from the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in the first instance. The SENCo can contact their local AAIS office for further advice.

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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.