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How we began

Autism Initiatives was founded in 1972 by Pat Minshull. When Pat realised that her son Peter had autism her initial concern was for his education. With a group of supporters she successfully raised funds to buy a property in Southport, where she founded Peterhouse School in 1973. Thanks to local support - and the patronage of the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson - the work continued. As her son's needs changed, with adulthood approaching, so Pat’s vision developed and she realised there was a need for adult services for autistic people.

Pat left a lasting legacy. Not only has she ensured the future of her son, but the work she started has changed the lives of thousands of people in the UK, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

Support that works for and with you

For over 50 years we have worked alongside autistic people and their families to learn more about how we may understand each person, how they may see and experience the world differently and how their autism affects them. We take time to get to know each person supported to understand what is important and helpful to them. To understand each individual autistic perspective and support each successfully, we know how to listen to each person and this means ‘listening’ to what people may do as well as what people may say or communicate to us. We have a continual focus on improving each person's Quality of Life including their physical and mental health and well-being and we make sure this is included in our planning. Together, we plan a support or education service designed to meet the needs and aspirations of each person and then continue to work together to ensure that these are met.

Working alongside the community

Autism Initiatives develop specialist services with, and specifically for, autistic people. A registered charity with a strong culture, we learn to consider life from the perspective of the people we work alongside. Our teams continually reflect upon and improve our approach, and are encouraged to be inquisitive and always listening.

Established over 50 years ago we offer a range of services for young people and adults in the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.

Meet the team

Autism Initiatives has been working alongside autistic people and their families for over 50 years. Our Trustee and staff teams are essential to us providing the highest quality services. Visit our meet the team page to find out more about the people who help support and direct our work.

Meet the Team