Who we are

Learn about The Irish Society for Autism

A profile of our organisation

The Irish Society for Autism was created in 1963, and has long campaigned for the cause of Autism in Ireland and Worldwide. We are the longest established specialist service for people with Autism in Ireland. The Society was formed with the goals of creating awareness about Autism, and convincing the authorities that early diagnosis and specialised education would greatly enhance the quality of life for people with Autism. 

Since 1963 the Irish Society for Autism has been providing information for thousands of people, parents, families, educators, students and health care workers. We have helped to establish residential services for adults with Autism in Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Wexford.

The Irish Society for Autism is a founder member of Autism Europe and the World Autism Organisation. The Executive Director, Pat Matthews, was the first President of the World Autism Organisation. 

Irish Society for Autism 50th Anniversary Conference

Our work & key milestones

1963

The Irish Society for Autism is formed. A small group of dedicated parents and friends came together to form the Irish Society for Autistic Children.
Timeline icon representing a book and rose
Timeline icon representing a book

1996

First EU Charter approval by the European Parliament.

1996

People of the Year awarded to Pat & Nuala Matthews for their commitment to Autism.

Timeline World Autism Organisation Logo

1998

World Autism Organisation Founded. Pat Matthews First President.

2000

Opening of Sarshill House, Wexford and the purchase of Cluain Farm, Kinnegad. The development of two new services by the I.S.A represents the commitment of the organisation to respond positively to the needs of people with Autism.

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Timeline icon with photograph of President McAleese

2000

Official Opening of Dunfirth Farm by President McAleese.

2001

The Report of the Task Force on Autism. Pat Matthews was a member of the Task Force.

Timeline icon with the Report of the Task Force on Autism cover
Timeline icon with World Autism Awareness Day 2nd April

2008

First World Autism Awareness Day.

2009

Address the United Nation. Pat Matthews briefed the UN Public Information Services on Autism and Human Rights. Attendees represented National and International N.G.O’s working with the United Nations.

Timeline icon with UN logo
Timeline icon representing the Charter of Rights for People With Autism

2012

Book launched. Reflections Contributions from parents, professionals and people with Autism.

2013

The Irish Society for Autism celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Timeline icon representing the 50th Anniversary

Our future

Our target for the next generation is to ensure that Autism specific legislation and an Irish and European Strategy for Autism is developed and to continue the development of services of excellence for people with Autism.