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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Autism & Aspergers Talent Recruitment


Second Thoughts, Learning to Think Differently About the People We Meet. A new initiative for pupils on the Autistic Spectrum (aged 14-18).

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In partnership with the NI Executive and as part of the Central Good Relations programme, Specialisterne NI, an Autism at Work social enterprise, is hosting a number of FREE social communication and team working workshops for pupils on the Autistic Spectrum across Northern Ireland.

What will ‘Second Thoughts’ involve?

Second Thoughts will involve taking part in two workshops:

1. A Lego Mindstorms Workshop where participants build Lego Mindstorms Robots in small teams.

Specialisterne Autism Consultants observe participants working in small teams and prepare individual Social Communication Profiles. These are then shared with each participant, which helps identify individual strengths in relation to managing a task and team working. Young people’s feedback from Lego Workshops has included:
‘It’s opened up mind on things. I never thought I was good at communicating, or working in a team, I may have more qualities than I think’
‘I found it very engaging and it allowed me to understand more about myself and also understand more about others.’
‘It made me feel that I can work with like-minded individuals. Also it was fun, not just by working together but by socialising with them getting to know them.’
‘It gave me more insight into what skills I have and how to develop that further.’
‘I found being a part of a team useful and having to do a task in a group and working with others’

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You can find out more about Lego Workshops here:  https://www.specialisterneni.com/about-us/assessment/

2. A Social Communication and Team Working Workshop where a professional actor acts out communication scenarios experienced by people on the  Autistic Spectrum.

Participants observe true-to-life scenarios and discuss strategies to overcome attitudinal and communication barriers. This workshop will also look at what it is like to be on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland. Young people’s feedback from Social Communication Workshops has included:
‘I really liked how they gave different viewpoints of different people on the spectrum.’
‘I liked the way there were roleplayed parts  to show people what it might be like for someone with Autism in that situation.’

Who are Specialisterne NI?

Specialisterne NI, a not-for-profit social enterprise, is part of the international Specialisterne network that has worked in 13 countries, for 13 years to support young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum to prepare for, secure, and thrive in rewarding careers. The Specialisterne NI team have studied Autism to Masters level. We have worked with over 300 young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland, supporting individuals to better recognise their own strengths and abilities, and supporting employers, colleges, universities and organisations to better understand how to develop the skills of people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Why Second Thoughts?

In focus groups with young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum, participants have identified attitudinal and social communication barriers as the two main obstacles to being of communities. ‘Second Thoughts’ workshops seek to support pupils to learn more about social communication, identifying individual strengths and challenges, learning communication strategies, and supporting participants to better understand attitudinal barriers and how to work around these.
Second Thoughts workshops are informed by Autism theory, and the daily lived experience of young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland.

Who should attend?

Second Thoughts is a programme for pupils aged 14-18  who identify with being on the Autistic Spectrum (a diagnosis or statement is not required). We welcome all enquiries about attending the workshops.

Specialisterne NI invites schools in N. Ireland to take part in ‘Second Thoughts’.

Should your school be interested in participating in Second Thoughts, or to book places for pupils, please contact Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne NI
Email: sharond@specialisterneni.com
Mob: 07565 936191
The Specialisterne NI team will meet with participating schools and will be available to meet with pupils to answer any questions regarding Second Thoughts.
Workshops will be scheduled at times that suit participating schools.


We look forward to hearing from you!

Specialisterne NI is a not-for-profit social enterprise that works to support people on the  Autistic Spectrum to prepare for, secure, and thrive in rewarding careers.

The ‘Second Thoughts’ programme is financed by the NI Executive, as part of the Central Good Relations Programme.

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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.