Specialisterne NI is a specialist consultancy that recruits and supports talented people with Autism, Aspergers, or communication difference in the workplace. We work with people who may have a diagnosis of Autism or Aspergers, or who can find communication in the workplace difficult. Our experience helps employers recruit and retain people with communication difference in the workplace, and grow diverse, effective teams.

As part of the Specialist People Foundation, we contribute to a global aim of one million jobs for people with Autism.

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3 ways you can help Adults on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland during Autism Awareness Month (with or without Lego!)

Specialisterne NI is a not for profit social enterprise that works to help adults on the Autistic Spectrum to prepare for, and thrive in careers across job sectors in N Ireland.

We have waiting lists of adults and young people requesting Communication profiling, and employability support. You or your company can help people on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland receive the support they need. You can do so by:

Sponsoring an adult or young person on the Autistic Spectrum:

£40 provides one adult with an employability clinic, where the participant will receive help with developing a LinkedIn profile, coaching regarding communicating at interview, and support to overcome obstacles related to job seeking.

£250 enables one adult or young person to participate in Social Communication Drama Workshops, where participants observe real work scenarios through role play with a professional actor, and engage in Lego team building exercises to learn about social communication at work. This helps participants feel more confident regarding job seeking and being in workplaces.

‘I liked the role plays, they helped me see what work can be like’

£350 enables one adult or young person to participate in a Lego Workshop where 4-6 people on the Autistic Spectrum work together in small teams to build a Lego Robot. Participants learn about communicating as a team, managing a work-like task, self-management and organisation. Workshops are led by Autism and Social Communication Specialists who coach on strategies to work in teams and communicate effectively. Participants receive a Communication Profile and 2 individual coaching sessions to discuss the results.

‘It made me feel that I can work with like-minded individuals. Which is important when working in a working environment.’

As part of the Specialisterne international network, which started in 2004 in Denmark, and is now in 13 countries, Specialisterne NI’s aim is to support 1 million people on the Autistic Spectrum across the world to secure and thrive in rewarding careers. You and your company can help achieve that. In return we will:

  • Measure and report on the social impact of the work you have sponsored. Specialisterne NI is practitioner trained in Social Return on Investment by Social Value UK.
  • Where appropriate, include your companies branding on Workshops and social media
  • Provide other ways you/ your team can contribute, such as mentoring opportunities

In Autism Awareness month, don’t forget adults on the Autistic Spectrum. We have seen how a little help and support can help talented people on the Autistic Spectrum achieve the career they want, and overcome communication barriers to bring talent and skills to NI companies.

For details on how  you or your company can sponsor a Lego or Drama Workshop contact Sharon Didrichsen on 07530859878 or email sharond@specialisterne.com

How can we help?

If you are a job seeker and experience communication challenges which may be related to Autism or Aspergers, we can:

  • assess your skills , and advise on what job roles may best suit your communication profile and skillset
  • job search and support you through the interview process
  • carry out a mock interview to help you perform at your best

If you are in a job role, and experience communication challenges which may be related to Autism or Aspergers we can provide Communication Coaching, that helps you understand Autism and how to Communicate Effectively.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or develop the skills of employees with Autism, Aspergers, or related communication difference we can:

  • introduce CVs of candidates who match your job roles
  • run assessment days for your direct applicants with Autism, Aspergers or related communication difference
  • train staff in how to interview or develop the skills of people with Autism, Aspergers, or related communication difference
  • Provide communication coaching for existing employees or new starts so that they integrate well into a team

Lego Assessment

For the team at Specialisterne NI, ‘playing’ with Lego is all in a day’s work, a social enterprise recruitment consultancy that pairs people on the autistic spectrum with highly skilled jobs in the burgeoning IT sector.

At Specialisterne NI, we use Lego Mindstorms Robots to identify skills and any support needs of participants. By building Lego Robots in small teams, participants demonstrate skills in completing a systematic task, as well as self and team management. We then share what we see with participants and where appropriate use this information to match participants to job roles. When completing the assessment for a current employee, we use the information to help the employee perform at their best in the workplace.

Specialisterne opened in N. Ireland in April 2014 and as a first project supported participants on the Autistic Spectrum in the DEL2014/15 Software Test Academy, all of whom secured job roles.