National Autistic Society (NAS) - Northern Ireland

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Contact Information

Eastbank House, Eastbank Road, Belfast, BT8 8BD
Contact Person
Shirelle Stewart
Telephone Number
028 9068 7066
Email Address
Web Address
Visit Website
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Additional Information

We provide local specialist help, information and care across Northern Ireland for autistic children and adults, and their families. We offer health and social services including support in your home, short breaks and respite, social groups, relationship and health education, and parent groups. There are different services available in different Trust Areas :- Parents Support Groups (Available in Belfast, Northern and Western Trust Areas) We offer a range of services to families living with autism in Northern Ireland, including family support workers, a parent group, and social activities for children, young people and autistic adults. Our Family Support Team operates in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT), Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) and Greater Belfast. Our Family Support workers provide one to one advice, guidance and practical support to parents and carers of children aged 18 years and younger across these Social Care Trusts. We support individuals to access education, embark on vocational training and to find and/or maintain employment. The Family Support Team also work with families to help them develop life skills strategies, which may include personal hygiene routine, using public transport and accessing local social and leisure activities in their community. Families who use our service are provided with vital information and advice on accessing benefits such as housing benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). We can also assist in the completion of relevant paperwork and advocate for individuals at appeals and tribunals as well as referring people to relevant to appropriate NAS Services. The NAS and the Family Support Team work closely with other local statutory agencies such as DEL and DSD to raise awareness of autism and to make these services more accessible to autistic people. Families who live in Northern Ireland can contact one of our family support workers for help with a range of issues related to autism. Your child should be 18 years of age or under. Groups for autistic people We run social groups for autistic adults, youth groups for teenagers, and various activity groups for children and young people. SocialEyes (Available in ALL Trust Areas) SocialEyes is an innovative approach to facilitating social skills and social understanding with people on the autism spectrum. Launched by The National Autistic Society in 2010, this learning resource has been developed with people with autism and Asperger syndrome, along with leading professionals in the field. All SocialEyes resources have been extensively piloted and re-piloted with ongoing development and research since 2005. SocialEyes does not ask people on the autism spectrum to change 'inappropriate' social behaviour, or to acquire social skills by copying the 'typical' behaviour of others. Instead, it gives people the option of learning social interaction skills or alternative social strategies. SocialEyes focuses on eight social skills that people on the autism spectrum can have difficulty with, including starting a conversation, eye contact and personal space. SocialEyes groups The SocialEyes groups look at eight social skills, each skill is taught in 8 separate modules. Members are supported to complete all eight modules of the course of one year. Modules subjects range from: understanding yourself and your autism the social world starting a conversation taking turns in a conversation ending a conversation sensitive topics personal space telephone skills eye contact volume of voice active listening / interrupting keeping on topic / interests understanding emotions and body language. Each module is broken down into 5 steps and the group focuses on one step each week. SocialEyes sessions usually last for two hours and are held during the evening once a week. For more information, call us on 028 9068 7066. How to access our support Support through our SocialEyes course in Northern Ireland is available to people who have funding through either Training for Success or Workable, which you can arrange by contacting Disability Action. Teenscene and social groups (Northern and Belfast Trust Areas) The National Autistic Society Northern Ireland provides social groups across both the Northern and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust areas. Our groups provide adults and teenagers (who attend Teenscene) the chance to overcome social isolation, increase confidence and make friends. The safe and comfortable environment provided within our groups for adolescents and adults with autism can also help to develop and improve social skills, self esteem, and independence, which in turn can have a positive effect on behaviour. Members of our groups participate in age appropriate activities within the wider community. We also encourage participants to take ownership of their groups and to work as a team to make decisions about forthcoming activities. Activities for adults include: book club bowling club cinema club lunch club. Teenscene (Available in Belfast and South Eastern Trust Areas) Teenscene is our supported youth group service for teenagers with autism and Asperger syndrome aged between 12 and 18 years old. Teenscene gives teenagers a safe, structured environment in which to meet and make friends with other people their own age that may be experiencing similar social difficulties. Autism Centre The National Autistic Society Northern Ireland’s Autism Centre will benefit those in and around Belfast, providing autistic adults with complex needs with a safe and welcoming place to learn, socialise and fulfil their potential. The centre hopes to attract more funding so they can run activities during evenings and weekends for autistic children and their families. Relationship Health Education Programme (Available in South Eastern Trust Area) Social and Personal Development Services (Northern Trust Area) Our staff work across the Northern Health and Social Care Trust providing a range of programmes which promote independence, build self-confidence and provide an opportunity to develop and learn everyday skills. All people wishing to join our programmes should contact the Trust ASD Co-ordinator to arrange a referral.
Available to Age Groups
All Ages
Category of Services
  • Carers
  • Disability - Learning Disability, Autism, ADHD
Areas covered
  • All of N Ireland
Method of Access (Referral)
  • GP
  • Health Visitor
  • Hospital
  • School
  • Self
  • Social Worker

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