Work begins on Centre for Autism set to open near Belfast in 2018

Work has started on a Centre for Autism which is set to open near Belfast in 2018.

The centre in Carryduff , being built by the National Autistic Society Northern Ireland , will host the first specialist day service for autistic adults with complex needs in Northern Ireland.

It will also have services which cater for everyone on the autism spectrum , including a sensory room, immersive space, life skills room, wellbeing room, training kitchen and garden, as well as office space for National Autistic Society staff.

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The building will make the most of new technology proven to be beneficial to the development and wellbeing of autistic people. This includes interactive whiteboards and tablets as well as cutting edge sensory technology.

Shirelle Stewart, NAS NI’s Director , said: “We are absolutely delighted that the build has started on our new Autism Centre which will cater for the needs of everyone across the Autism spectrum and their families. The Centre has been designed with the interests and needs of people with autism at its heart; it will be modern, welcoming, and provide new technology that is specifically designed to benefit autistic people.

“The National Autistic Society would like to thank everyone involved who is helping to raise vital funds for this innovative project and for making our vision a reality.”

At the moment, there is no autism specific day provision in Northern Ireland for autistic adults with complex needs to go to with autism-specific expertise that families can rely on.

National Autistic Society Northern Ireland said the aim of this centre is to enable autistic adults to continue to learn in terms of independence skills, life skills, communication and interaction skills.

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The environment is designed to meet the needs of autistic people and their families. This centre will open from 8am to 6pm to enable parents and carers to continue to work and to facilitate other commitments.

The Centre will also provide support for the range of services the NAS currently offers, such as NAS branches, family support services, and social and leisure groups for autistic children and adults.

The aim is to have the Centre operating seven days a week and in the evenings providing different services and support to all those on the autism spectrum and their families.

If you would like to help support the Autism Centre Appeal you can phone the NAS NI Office on 028 9068 7066 or Email Shirelle.stewart@nas.org.uk.

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