Family Support Service
One of our longest established services is our Family Support provision which is based in the local communities across Northern Ireland providing individualised support services. Our staff have the skills, energy and resolve to make sure as many families as possible can benefit from the heightened awareness of Autism and the early intervention support.
A vital and much in demand service is our Helpline, this is often the first point of contact pre and post diagnosis. In 2016/17, we received over 3,000 direct contacts, emails and visits from individuals, parents and professionals in need of a listening ear and support. Providing practical and emotional support that enhances support networks and coping mechanisms bridging families to appropriate services in their area.
‘I really appreciate your help and support, I wish I had of got talking to you sooner. You are an epitome of strength, I took great comfort from our conversation, your dedication and commitment is exemplary’. (Parent)
‘Thank you so much for this information, it will be so useful to this family’. (Professional)
Autism Resource Officers – AROs
We have a unique 'Family Support Service' which provides critical, community based support to children with ASD and parents/families living with ASD. Each ARO delivers a community focused bespoke service for children and families who have received a diagnosis. The service is flexible in its approach enhancing social networks and bridging families to the supports they need. At present, this service is available in the Northern and Belfast Trust areas working alongside the ASD Intervention teams. AutismNI continues to be an advocate of partnerships and recognises the strength of working together in order to achieve outcomes.
“The ARO worked with me to source local supports that I could access that benefitted me and my child such as the local women's centre. Even though I have lived within the area I had never availed of the resources”. (Parent)
Parent Liaison Officer – PLO
This new service offers targeted time limited support to families whose children have received a diagnosed of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The PLO will meet the family and develop a bespoke plan individual to their child’s needs. The PLO will also provide additional information and help to access other services in the area enabling opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children with ASD and their parents, families and communities. This service is currently available in the Mid Ulster Area.
During the incoming year, our hope is to build on our support to children/individuals with ASD and their families, by maximising new opportunities to increase resilience and improve knowledge and skills. We will continue to work with professionals in the field of ASD and ensure the involvement of all our key stakeholders.
“I want to thank the girl for calling today at my home; she has given me hope, strategies and a menu of options that will support my daughter & family. For the first time since diagnosis as a parent I feel like I am looking forward”. (Parent)
For further information on supports available, please contact 028 9040 1729 (Option 1).