2gether and Recruit Programmes go online! #stayconnected

The 2gether Autistic Community has gone online with coffee meet-ups, cookery meet-ups and 1-1 support being delivered over Zoom. What we didn’t expect was how many would join! Last night we had 50% more people attending our 2gether evening workshop via Zoom- it was great craic! Today we have the 2gether women’s meet-up over lunch, Monday is the 2gether coffee meet-up and later in the week we have our first online cookery session. (#bettertidythekitchen)
How was the first evening workshop? ‘Brilliant’ Change anything? ‘No it was perfect’ ‘The role plays gave it a focus, it was fun’. Why is 2gether important during Lockdown? ‘Social connection’, that it is more important now than ever.’ ‘See, we are all here, and we are not even having pizza!’
Participants on our Recruit programmes have commented on how relaxed it is on Zoom, that it is good for getting the feel of groups, as you don’t need your microphone or camera on.

Many have said how easy it is to use and are really enjoying it.
If you are autistic and would like to be part of a vibrant autistic community, or would like support to get ready for work through our Recruit programmes delivered over Zoom, from the comfort of your own home, get in touch. We would love you to be part of our autistic community.

 

Connect4 Expression of Interest Form

Connect4 Expression of Interest Form

Connect4 is a new 3-year programme which is designed by 100 autistic young people across 10 secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland, and which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. 100 autistic young people have told us they would like to connect more with others, including connecting with other autistic young people, and with autistic young people in other schools, and that there can be challenges in connecting with others.

Connect4 connects autistic young people to each other through in-school, inter-school and online opportunities to meet-up and learn together. At this time, it is important, and perhaps it is even more important for autistic young people to connect with others and stay connected.

Connect4 workshops are available for

  • Autistic young people in secondary or grammar schools in N Ireland, or who are out of school
  • Teachers and classroom assistants at secondary or grammar schools in N Ireland
  • Parents of autistic young people who are in secondary or grammar schools in N Ireland, or who are out of school

Connect4 Workshops for Autistic young people

The Connect4 programme offers autistic young people 3 ways to connect with others and to stay connected. All 3 opportunities are currently available weekly online. Young people accessing the workshops via a link on Zoom, using a laptop or using the Zoom app. All workshops are limited in numbers and require registration. To register your interest, please use the Expression of Interest form below or email Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com

 

ICONNECT workshops are where autistic young people connect with each other in small groups to learn more about connecting with others. Small groups can be for young people at one school, or inter-school groups. ICONNECT workshops use drama and fun activities to explore what it can be like to be autistic at school. Using the UCLA Peers Curriculum and Thrive Wellbeing Curriculum, together we learn how to connect more with others, how to stay connected, and how to thrive in shared learning environments such as school or work.

INTERCONNECT workshops are fun workshops which are opportunities to connect with each other over, for example board games, cooking at home, and interest Meet-ups. INTERCONNECT workshops are currently available weekly online, per school and inter-school. INTERCONNECT workshops link up autistic young people via Zoom to connect over a special interest or to play a game together.

WE CONNECT workshops connect groups of autistic young people with employers and autistic adults over Zoom. Facilitated by Specialisterne’s Connect4 team of Autism Consultants, WE CONNECT workshops are for autistic young people who may wonder what it may be like to work in a specific career as an autistic person. A wide range of careers can be accommodated due to Specialisterne’s international network of employers and of autistic people thriving in all types of careers.

 

Connect4 Workshops for Teachers and Classroom Assistants

 

Connect4 provides teachers and classroom assistants at schools taking part in Connect4 with WE CONNECT Teacher or Classroom Assistant workshops. WE CONNECT workshops for teachers or classroom assistants are weekly online workshops where participants explore what it can be like to be autistic at school and how teachers and classroom assistants can support autistic people to work at their best.

Informed by autistic young people and autism theory, WE CONNECT workshops are delivered by trainers with more than 8 years’ experience working with over 1000 autistic people of all ages. Learning material includes role plays written by autistic young people at secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland, which give insight into their experience of school.

WE CONNECT Teacher or Classroom Assistant workshops are free of charge as they are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of the 3-year Connect4 programme.

Teachers and classroom assistants access the workshops via a link on Zoom, using a laptop or using the Zoom app. All workshops are limited in numbers and require registration. To register your interest, please use the Expression of Interest form below or email Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com

Connect4 Workshops for Parents of autistic young people

Connect4 provides parents of autistic young people who are taking part in Connect4 with WE CONNECT: Parent workshops. WE CONNECT workshops for parents are weekly online workshops where participants explore what it can be like to be autistic at school and at home and how parents can support autistic people to work at their best.

Informed by autistic young people and autism theory, WE CONNECT workshops are delivered by trainers with more than 8 years’ experience working with over 1000 autistic people of all ages. Learning material includes role plays written by autistic young people at secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland, which give insight into their experience of school.

WE CONNECT parent workshops are free of charge as they are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of the 3-year Connect4 programme.

Parents access the workshops via a link on Zoom, using a laptop or using the Zoom app. All workshops are limited in numbers and require registration. To register your interest, please use the Expression of Interest form below or email Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com

Who is Specialisterne?

Specialisterne NI is part of an international network working across 16 countries for 16 years to help autistic people to get ready for, secure and sustain rewarding careers. Specialisterne pioneered Autism at Work which is now a major international movement. In N Ireland, Specialisterne has an autistic adult community, 2gether, who inspired Connect4 as a participant suggested they would have liked to have started 2gether earlier. 2gether is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and is in its 3rd year. All the Connect4 team have studied autism at university and have a passion for and experience in supporting autistic people to achieve what they want in life, from starting out in a new career to getting your message across.

Connect4 will connect autistic young people to each other as well as other autistic communities of young people in other parts of the world, including the amazing I CAN network in Australia.

Meet the Team

The Connect4 Team include Sharon, Elaine, Ruth, Emily and Maggie. We have all studied Autism at master’s level. Here’s a little more about us:

Sharon: Specialisterne started in Denmark in 2004, 10 years later Sharon brought the model to N Ireland and has enjoyed supporting over 1000 autistic people on their journey so far. Sharon could talk about autism all day long and loves going for walks by the sea.

Elaine: After supporting autistic people at Queen’s University, Elaine joined the Specialisterne team as Team Leader of team of 9 autism consultants. Elaine has supported over 1000 autistic people on their journeys. Elaine enjoys travelling, walks on the beach and time with her new puppy Jasper.

Ruth is a Foreign Languages Teacher who joined Specialisterne 2 years ago, supporting autistic adults to secure careers. Ruth has a Master’s in Special Education. Ruth is the Connect4 Programme Co-ordinator and helps ensure the Connect4 programme fits in with and supports school life.

Maggie is an Autism Consultant who joined the team last year, supporting Specialisterne’s adult autistic community, Maggie studied Psychology in Mexico. Maggie has worked with young people for most of her time in N Ireland and finds autism fascinating. Maggie is really looking forward to getting to know all the Connect4 participants and having fun with them

Emily is an Autism Consultant who has recently joined the Connect4 team. Before joining the team, Emily was part of a private school for autistic young people. Emily has a degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience and is currently completing a Masters in Applied Psychology.

Connect4 Expression of Interest Form (please copy and paste into Word and email to Sharond@specialisterne.com)

Name

 

Date of Birth
Contact Email Address (parent or teacher’s email please).
Contact Phone Number (parent or teacher’s contact number)
Address  

 

Mobile Number
How do you prefer to be contacted?
How did you hear about Connect4?
Do you consider yourself to be on the Autistic Spectrum?  

 

 

Connect4 activities include:

  • ICONNECT Workshops for autistic young people
  • INTERCONNECT workshops for autistic young people
  • WE Connect workshops for autistic young people
  • WE CONNECT workshops for teachers
  • WE CONNECT workshops for classroom assistants
  • WE CONNECT workshops for parents

Which of these would you be interested in attending?

Which school do you attend? / does your young person attend?

 

Please write any additional comments on why you are interested in participating in Connect4  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connect4 is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this form. Please email your completed form to sharond@specialisterne.com

Should you have questions regarding Connect4, please contact Sharon on 07565 936191, email sharond@specialisterne.com

Thank you for your interest in Connect4.

Connect4 Free Virtual Meet-Ups and Webinars

Our Connect4 team of 5 autism specialists are busy preparing (free) webinars and virtual meet-ups which support autistic pupils, school staff (which includes classroom assistants, teachers), and parents over the coming months. Some of our Connect4 team are pictured above after a fun session! (From left to right: Emily Matchett, Elaine Stephens and Maggie Lockhart).
 
Connect4 is a new 3 year programme which is designed by 100 autistic young people across 10 secondary schools in N Ireland, and which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
 
What topics would you like to see covered? If you would be interested in receiving details of the webinars for autistic young people, classroom assistants and teachers, and parents and virtual meet-ups/interest groups for autistic young people (at secondary school or grammar school), message the team on Facebook or contact Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com #Connect4 #stayconnected