3 ways you can help us help adults on the Autistic Spectrum in NI

Giving Tuesday 2


On Giving Tuesday there are 3 ways you can help Specialisterne NI help people on the Autistic Spectrum get ready for employment:
Option 1: Become a Corporate Partner
 A not-for-private profit social enterprise, we are seeking 10 corporate partners who will help fundraise for weekly Career Clinics for long term unemployed people on the Autistic Spectrum. A 2013 NI survey showed 60% of respondents knew someone with ASD in their own family, circle of friends or work colleagues, that is why fundraising for Career Clinics should resonate with many employees.
Our team have lots of fundraising ideas and team-building initiatives that will have positive outcomes for your staff and for unemployed people on the Autistic Spectrum! Specialisterne NI are trained in utilising social impact measurement tools such as Social Return on Investment and so corporate partners are kept updated regarding the impact each £ raised makes for the local Autistic Community and the local economy, which helps your employees see the difference they are making.
Option 2: Become a client
With over 200 graduate job seekers and students seeking placements, selecting Specialisterne NI as your recruitment partner helps bring you talent you may otherwise miss and helps create a level playing field for people on the Autistic Spectrum. Our team of Recruitment Consultants and Autism Specialists have over 17 years combined experience in recruitment match CVs to your environment and support you through the Recruitment process, and during the initial employment period for new starts.
Specialisterne NI training workshops coach your team in communicating with all staff and overcoming biases to make better decisions. Our next workshops are Monday 5 December:
Option 3: Fundraise for free!
Join our Easyfundraising community by creating an account with https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/specialisternenorthernireland/ and, using a handy ‘Donation Reminder’ tool that directs you to 3,000 leading sites such as Amazon, Microsoft, Sainsburys, earn 2-5% of everything you spend in donations to Specialisterne NI! There are no catches and co cost to you. Individuals and companies that use easyfundraising for purchasing have raised £14 million for local causes such as Specialisterne NI.
Should any of these be of interest, we would love to hear from you. Specialisterne Founder, Thorkil Sonne, said ‘It takes a community to move from hope into action, and from action into impact’.
Thank you for your interest and support!
Sharon Didrichsen
Specialisterne Northern Ireland
Mob 07565 936191 Office: 028 9073 9601
Follow us on Twitter:  SpecialistsNI  
Like us on Facebook: Specialisterne NI
An Autism at Work Consultancy

Aren’t we all on the Spectrum somewhere?


It’s the question I am asked the most, and it’s hard to answer. From one viewpoint, the answer is yes. After all there is no behaviour specific to the Autistic Spectrum, just different degrees of shared human behaviour. There are, however, distinctive patterns of behaviour, patterns, according to Autism expert Uta Frith, that can be so distinctive they are instantly recognisable to the Autism professional. How is it that autistic people all over the world, across different cultures, socio-economic status, and personality types, share patterns of behaviour, even down to common favourite TV programmes or special interests?

The Autistic community is one of shared thinking patterns that impact how a person learns, develops, and relates to the people and things around them, and that lead to recognisable patterns of behaviour. Rather than learning primarily through an intuitive social sense, for example, the Autistic person can learn through trial and error, as if in a new country where the social culture needs to be deliberately learned. I have lived and worked in 2 Spanish speaking countries. I noticed that to achieve social success in a different language and culture I had to become an astute observer, that it was easier to get things wrong and that I was more tired at the end of the day than when in more familiar territory. This experience is close to the effort it can take for people on the Autistic Spectrum to fit in at work. It can be exhausting, and can use up working memory so that some days, just focusing on work and not ‘social and work’, can be a much needed break.

Sitting outside a culture, learning its patterns and working to fit in can have its plus sides. It can be refreshing to notice what people do as just that- as social behaviour of a group of people. Having worked with over 200 people on the Autistic Spectrum I find this a breath of fresh air that has a surprising result- people who work around our consultants over time can be more themselves too at work- and more likely to question doing what has always been done ‘just because’.

The Autism Spectrum Quotient was developed by Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre to help adults see what they may have in common with Autistic thinking patterns. It is available on the link below:


For a brief introduction to Autism, I can recommend:
Autism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

An Autism at work consultancy, we work to help people on the Autistic Spectrum get ready for and succeed at work, and we train and coach employers to welcome their talent. In our training workshops where actors role play communication scenarios, participants often relate to what they see, such as moments of social awkwardness, or the experience of being misunderstood. Although that does not always mean a person is on the spectrum themselves, we hope that relating to what they see can make the door a little more open to people on the Autistic Spectrum, as it is when we notice shared experiences across labels that define us that true diversity can begin.


‘Small allowances to make’



Read Ryan’s story in Belfast Live of how small changes in the workplace have made a difference.

Join with Specialisterne in signing the National Autistic Society petition.

Ryan says:

“Now is the time for everyone to take action to make sure autistic adults get the jobs they deserve by signing the petition to close the autism employment gap.”