Support for Learning Disability, Autism and ADHD

two man talking to each other on grass field
Disability Learning

What is Learning Disability ? A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities. The problems experienced vary from person to person, but may include aspects such as learning new things, communication, managing money, reading, writing, or personal care. Some people are born with a disability, whereas others may develop one as a result of an accident or illness in childhood

What Types of Support are available ?

People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.

The level of support someone needs depends on the individual. For example, someone with a mild learning disability may only need support with things like getting a job. However, someone with a severe or profound learning disability may need full­ time care and support with every aspect of their life – they may also have physical disabilities.

People with certain specific conditions can have a learning disability too. For example, people with Down’s Syndrome and some people with Autism have a learning disability.

It’s important to remember that with the right support, most people with a learning disability can lead independent lives.

What do I do if I think my child may have additional needs?

If a parent has a concern about their child’s development they should approach their GP, health visitor or other appropriate professional in the first instance.

Trust children’s services are focused upon a service based on early identification and early intervention and in working with partnership with other key agencies involved with Children especially colleagues in Education and in the voluntary sector

A list of services in respect of supporting children including those with additional needs and disability can be found at :-

Find Support for Learning Disability including Autism, ADHD on FSNI website

Your local Health and Social Care Trust will give you the help you need as well as signpost you to other sources of support. And a list of services are attached for information

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust - Child and Adolescent Autism Service

Northern Health and Social Care Trust - Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Services

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust - Children's Disability Service

Southern Health and Social Care Trust - Autism Services

Western Health and Social Care Trust - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)– Children’s Service

Autism NI Support Groups in Northern Ireland

Autism NI Support Groups are based in local communities across Northern Ireland offering support to thousands of parents and carers and individuals with ASD :-

Family Fund

Family Fund helps families with disabled children across Northern Ireland with grants. Grants can be awarded for essentials including computers, tablets, kitchen appliances, much needed family breaks and much more. Family Fund receives support from the Department of Health. 

Family Hub - Mencap

Family Hub - Mencap is an online community designed to enable you to share stories, practical tips and other information

If you have a Learning Disability do you have a Hospital Passport ?

You can apply now and present to staff every time you visit a general hospital in Northern Ireland. For more information on how to apply follow this link :

HSC Hospital Passport and Guidance notes

Autism Awareness –Belfast International Airport

If you are travelling with someone with Autism you can get support during your time at the airport. You must book assistance through your airline or tour operator.

Autism Awareness - Belfast Airport


Autism NI Helpline operates a Helpline Service from Monday to Friday. Individuals, parents and professionals use this service to seek information on a wide range of issues related to Autism pre and post diagnosis. 

Mencap Helpline provides an independent advice and information service helping people with a learning disability and their families to understand their rights and find out about services and activities in their area. 
Northern Ireland Helpline
The Learning Disability Helpline is a free service for advice and information about learning disability which can help you to find the right support in your area.
The Learning Disability Helpline is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can get in touch by:
  • phoning: 0808 808 1111
Alternatively, you can submit your query using this online form.

Contact for Families With Disabled Children  provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability. We provide information, advice and support, and bring families together so they can support each other. 
Call our free phone helpline on 0808 888 3555

Related Documents

ASD - Support Across the Lifespan

ASD Six Steps of Autism Care Pathway Report

ASD Six Steps of Autism Leaflet

Autism Adult Care Pathway

Carers Allowance Fact Sheet

Self Directed Support

Health and Social Care Trust Areas

Carers NI Looking after Someone 2022-23

Last Updated: 03/10/2022