Welcome to Specialisterne NI

Specialisterne NI is a social enterprise which contributes to Specialisterne’s international goal of 1 million careers for autistic people.  With autistic people and employers, we create solutions that reduce the barriers for autistic people to be part of communities, and to enjoy careers.

Meet the Team

We have a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about Autism and skilled in recruitment consultancy, assessment and career support.

What makes us different is our knowledge of Autism and of business environments. All of our team have studied Autism at university, usually to Masters level. Everything we do is guided and informed by our autistic community.

We use these skills to help autistic people or people who have a communication difference, start or continue careers and we assist companies to welcome and develop the talents of autistic people.

Sharon Didrichsen

Sharon Didrichsen

Founder and Managing Director

An experienced IT recruiter with 11 year in recruitment and 7 years experience in Autism consultancy, Sharon studied a MSc Autism Spectrum Disorders before joining Specialisterne Ireland in 2013 as an Autism Consultant. Sharon brought the model to Belfast in April 2014 where she delivers recruitment, training and support solutions for autistic people and companies.

Elaine Stephens

Elaine Stephens

Team Lead

Elaine has a MSc Autistic Spectrum Disorders and worked at Queens University for 3 years supporting students on the Autistic Spectrum prior to joining Specialisterne N in 2015.

Meet Specialisterne NI’s Connect4 and Recruit teams

Connect4 is an inter-school autistic community programme.

Recruit programmes support autistic people to secure careers.

Sian Dunwoody

Sian Dunwoody

Recruit+ Autism Consultant
Stacey Austin

Stacey Austin

Recruit++ Autism Consultant
Maggie Lockhart

Maggie Lockhart

Connect4 Autism Consultant
Emily Matchett

Emily Matchett

Connect4 Autism Consultant

How we help job seekers

How we help employers

What others say about us

Working with Specialisterne has given us an insight into their work with adults on the autistic spectrum and the difference that they make. They are a professional company and very easy to work with.

Maeve McKeagAssured Skills, Department for Employment and Learning

It’s kind of like playing Tetris – you need all different shapes working together. Specialisterne know how to get different minds working together. They can help you find a job that fits you

MarkSoftware Tester

It has made a huge impact on the teams where colleagues with Autism have been involved. They certainly have a greater sense of cohesion and they themselves have looked at themselves as individuals in how they treat others, not necessarily those with Autism, but also those not on the Spectrum

Liam RyanSAP

The team at Specialisterne helped my skills and qualities to be recognised in the IT sector where they otherwise might have been overlooked, and with that first helpful step onto the ladder, my career has only taken off soaring from there

Software EngineerBelfast