The RAFT early intervention service is a partnership service, led by Autism NI, which aims to build and strengthen relationships for families of children with Autism aged 12 and under. The RAFT service supports families in the Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey areas in a number of way, including:
- Encouraging early childhood intervention through a programme of practical skills training
- Training courses for parents and family members
- Support groups for family members in the community
Families referred to the RAFT service will engage in a home-based programme for up to 6 weeks. These meetings will provide family members with practical tools and support to manage their children's behaviours, play and socialisation. Each meeting will last approximately one to two hours and topics discussed may include:
- The use of visual structure to help a child understand
- Structuring the home environment
- Setting up and maintaining positive routines
- Daily living skills and play skills
- Organisation skills, for example, homework schedules
Training will also be available to support parents and family members to build up knowledge, skills and coping strategies. Ongoing community support will be available in the form of local support groups that will be set up for families involved in the service.
Who can make a referral?
Referrals are made through the Northern Ireland and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) and Autism NI's partnership organisations - Sure Start, Gingerbread, Women's Aid, Home Start and Action for Children.
ASD Information Sessions