50 years providing Autism supports 1971 – 2021



Gheel Autism Services was founded in Dublin city in 1971 by a small group of parents of people with autism. The name Gheel originates from the region of Geel in Belgium where since the 7th century people with disabilities were supported to live in the community and not in institutions. The Irish Saint Dympna in the 7th century fled to Geel from Ireland and is credited with initiating this type of community living support model. The first service managed by Gheel was on the grounds of a building named St Dympna’s.

Gheel provide services for people with autism in the greater Dublin and North Kildare region. We provide day, residential, supported living and outreach services for people with autism with the goal of maximising independence and enhancing quality of life for all of the people we support.

All of our programmes are tailored to recognise the neurodiversity of people with autism. Committed staff receive regular autism-specific person centred training and they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable each individual to have positive and meaningful life experiences.


The textbook definition of autism is that it is a pervasive neuro-developmental disorder (PDD). PDD’s are impairments of the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system that unfolds as the nervous system develops. These conditions typically are identified in children around age 3, however, autism has its roots in earlier brain development. As this is a critical period of development, they are called

neuro-developmental disorders. 


In Gheel, we do not see autism as something that is broken and needs to be fixed or treated. We see autism as a different way of being and something that should be understood and embraced.



We will:

~ Support and embrace difference ~

~ Design individual person centered services ~

~Facilitate family and community involvement ~

~ Engage with health care providers to inform practice ~

~ Promote evidence based practice and training ~

~ Respect privacy and dignity of each person ~

~ Provide choice not boundaries ~

~ Practice low arousal philosophy ~

~ Give people a life, not a service ~



Our values are dignity, respect, empowerment, diversity and integrity. We at Gheel, endeavour to live and work by these values in our interaction with the people accessing services and with each other.



Inclusive communities where people with autism are valued and have meaningful opportunities to design their own future in Ireland

What We Do

In Gheel, we focus on supporting individuals with autism through their life journey and supporting them to have fulfilling life experiences, while having autonomy and control over their choices and decisions. 

Gheel provides a wide range of services for adults with autism including day opportunities, outreach support and a variety of supported living options. 

Considering individual strengths and motivations, we enable people to obtain outcomes that are meaningful to them. 

All staff are involved in changing the culture to supporting people into a more inclusive, independence focused style of support - where people with autism are encouraged to be partners in, not recipients of, their lives and support. 


Work With Us!

Gheel Autism Services work within a low arousal philosophy and our values form an integral part of who we are and what we do. We employ approximately 250 people in various capacities and locations in Dublin and North Kildare and are regularly on the lookout for like-minded individuals to join our team.

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