Connect4 VIRTUAL Workshops Launch and How to Join

Connect4 VIRTUAL Workshops Launch and How to Join

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

All workshops are currently available online.

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 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

  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.

The autistic young people who designed Connect4 told us it is important young people get to choose which parts are of interest. That is why Connect4 is a ‘pick and mix’ programme, where each young person chooses which parts they would like to take part in and when, as well as deciding what the sessions should look and feel like, and vote together to decide what the activities should be.

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 Conenct4 participants and having fun with them

Emily has just joined the team and cannot wait to get started. Emily loves working with kids and is excited to bring people together and have fun! She loves Connect 4 as it provides opportunities for lots of different kinds of people to get together and learn from each other. Emily loves chatting to people, playing sports and learning new things. Emily has a BSc Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience and is completing an MSc Applied Psychology.

 

Some of the Connect4 team. From left to right: Emily, Elaine and Maggie

 

Connect4 Expression of Interest Form (please copy and paste or send the answers in an 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?

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.

2 replies
  1. Sharon Didrichsen
    Sharon Didrichsen says:

    Hi Peter, Stacey from our team, is sending you some details of our programmes for adults. Regards Sharon

    Reply

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