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WELB
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Western Education & Library Board,
1 Hospital Road,
Omagh, Co Tyrone,
BT79 0AW

Telephone: 028 8241 1411
Fax: 028 8241 1400
Email: info@welbni.org
Textphone: 028 8241 1550
Press:comms@welbni.org

Autism Advisory and Intervention Service (AAIS)

INTRODUCTION TO THE SERVICE

The Autism Advisory and Intervention Service (AAIS) works in partnership with schools, parents and other professional agencies to support the personal, social and educational development of children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The AAIS is comprised of a team of professionals who have specific training, knowledge and experience in working with children and young people with ASD.

Interventions employed

The AAIS takes account of a range of interventions, approaches and models. The service considers the relevance and appropriateness of any strategy and the needs of a specific child, family and school. Strategies may focus on making adaptations to the child's home and/or school environment to create the right conditions for effective learning and positive behaviour.  At other times it may be necessary to use strategies that focus directly on developing specific skills with the child or young person.

It is important to note that, because of the complexity of ASD and the wide variability in how ASD is presented in children and young people, the emphasis given to any particular form of intervention will vary and will likely change over time. In most cases a combination of strategies will be required since the focus and goals of intervention are likely to be wide ranging.

School personnel and staff members of the AAIS will take cognisance of the following documentation when working with a child or young person with ASD:

In 2002, the Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI) published the Report of the Task Group on Autism. This report provides the Task Group's review of the main approaches to intervention and considers the implications for the development of effective educational provision.

In 2005, the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) published 'Evaluating Provision for Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Schools'. This document provides useful and practical guidance for schools in promoting improvement in the provision and support for children and young people on the autism spectrum.

In 2011, the Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI) published the 'Resource file for children with special educational needs'.  The documentation includes useful and effective strategies identified by educationalists who have shared their considerable experience.  The Framework entails Good Practice Guidelines for use in all educational settings when working with and supporting a child or young person with ASD.  These guidelines are to support a common framework to be used by all teachers and support staff, to assist with the barriers to learning the child or young person may experience in school.  

The AAIS is committed to delivering high quality support through providing training, advice and resources to pupils, parents and schools as well as tailored support for pupils referred by the Educational Psychology Service.

Training

One of the principles for the AAIS is that of disseminating knowledge and understanding of ASD in order to provide a sound basis for intervention.  This can be an effective way of utilising the skills and knowledge of parents, teachers, classroom assistants and other support staff to help children with ASD in the home, classroom and other school contexts.

Training is provided in a variety of ways:

  • In-service Training (INSET): This type of training is delivered off-site to Nursery, Primary and Post-Primary school staff.
  • Whole School Training: This is delivered on-site to all school staff.
  • Parent Training: This is provided to groups of parents. 
  • Parent Workshops: These workshops are arranged at various times throughout the year and target areas such as Transfer to Post-Primary School. 
     

Downloadable documents

We can be contacted as follows:

Autism Advisory and Intervention Services (AAIS)
The Camowen Centre
17 Deverney Road
Omagh
BT79 0ND
T:  028 8224 6203