Learning from Autistic Young People- Workshops for Teachers and Classroom Assistants

 

 

WE CONNECT workshops for teachers or classroom assistants are online workshops where teachers and classroom assistants 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 who have studied Autism at Masters Level, and who have more than 9 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, and performed by professional actors, 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. For details on how to enrol pupils on Connect4, see link below:

https://www.specialisterneni.com/connect4-virtual/

Specialisterne NI have delivered interactive workshops on working with autistic people for 6 years, to a range of clients which include university and college teaching staff, employers of autistic people, and staff at charities related to disability and mental health. Specialisterne NI is a not-for-profit organisation which is part of the Specialisterne international network, working over 15 countries for 16 years to secure 1 million careers for autistic people.

Level 1 Workshop

What autistic young people would like you to know. Learning from autistic young people.

A session based on 6 years of listening (via group and individual sessions and surveys) to hundreds of autistic young people in secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland. This session includes:
-What do autistic young people say about being in school?
-What can a day in school be like for different autistic people.
-What barriers can autistic young people face to fully taking part in school life.
-In the classroom- what being in a classroom situation can be like for autistic pupils.
-What can help autistic young people learn and feel good in the classroom and at school.
The Level 1 workshop includes role-plays written by autistic young people and performed over Zoom by professional actors. This interactive workshop includes a pre-workshop questionnaire for participants. Content is tailored specifically to questions raised by participants ahead of the workshop.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics.
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about the experiences of autistic young people in school
  • Participants will be able to identify some barriers autistic pupils may experience to taking more part in school life
  • Participants will have more understanding of what can support autistic pupils to feel better in school environments

Level 2 Workshop

Strategies to connect with autistic young people. Learning from autistic young people.

This Level 2 workshop builds on the knowledge of Level 1 workshop and focuses on connecting with autistic young people. The Level 2 workshop includes:
-Being at home and being autistic – what young people tell us about learning at home.
-Social Communication and learning loops- where social communication impacts cycles of learning.  What does this mean for teachers and classroom assistants?
-Thinking styles of autistic pupils
-Where are my books? and other learning associated barriers. The practicalities of school life and being autistic.
-Interest and autism.
-Barriers to connecting with autistic young people.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics.
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about the experiences of autistic young people in school
  • Participants will understand more about autistic learning styles
  • Participants will have some strategies to connect with autistic pupils which are informed by autistic people

Level 3 Workshop

Autistic young people, thriving and learning, what is that like? Learning from autistic young people.

This Level 3 workshop builds on the knowledge of Level 1 and 2 workshops and focuses on how autistic people learn as well as happiness and autism and school environments. Participants have opportunity to role play communication scenarios with professional actors in the workshop.
– Learning and the autistic mind
-What makes autistic people happy, the happiness-learning connection
-What autistic people tell us are the components of environments in which they thrive
-Careers of autistic people, learn about life journeys of autistic people in leading careers in N Ireland
-Retrospectives: what autistic adults would like you to know.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics. Participants in the Level 3 workshop have opportunity to observe the role play communication scenarios and also to take part in the role plays (taking part is optional).
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about autistic culture
  • Participants will understand more about how autistic people thrive in school and in work
  • Participants will learn more about autistic adults and careers of autistic people in N Ireland
  • Participants will have had opportunity to try out new ways of interacting with autistic pupils

Teachers and classroom assistants access the workshops online, which can be booked per school or inter-school. Numbers per workshop are limited to support session interactivity and increase learning outcomes.

To register your interest, please email Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com, Mobile 07565936191.

 

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.

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

IBM Security Belfast Intern Placements 2020/21

 

IBM welcomes undergraduates with a disability and in particular those who are on the autistic spectrum, to apply for Belfast intern placements 2020/21.

IBM’s Autism at Work programme includes opportunities for autistic people in locations which include the US and Australia. Applicants have access to the Specialisterne team to support and guide through the interview process. Successful candidates have the option of in-work support during the placement year.

The IBM Security Lab in Belfast are looking for computer science (or related) Interns to join our Security Intelligence product development team. IBM offers 12-month placement opportunities in Software Development, Quality Assurance (QA) & Technical Support. You’ll gain the experience, skills & contacts needed to bring to life the smartest solutions to tough challenges.

IBM’s expansive product portfolio offers opportunities within technology fields and solutions such as Network Event management (QRadar), Risk Management (QRM), Vulnerability Management (QVM) and recently developed in Belfast our Application Framework.

This Application Framework allows users to build “Apps” based on the API’s in IBM’s product and integrate into our security platform. Apps can be downloaded from the IBM App Exchange (https://exchange.xforce.ibmcloud.com/hub).

Equipped with the latest tools, technologies and architectures, you’ll enjoy the freedom to develop and test several related technologies across a variety of projects.

Main Duties

Development roles provide experience developing, testing and supporting code throughout the entire development lifecycle (analysis/design, coding, unit testing, production) in multiple languages (Java, Perl, Python, Bash, HTML, JavaScript) on various Linux platforms, using the latest development tools (Java, Eclipse, GIT, Jenkins).

Test roles involve the execution of product test cases, test automation development, interfacing with the development team to understand & resolve potential defects in the product, configuring/installing Linux servers and other security devices.

If you are studying computer science (or related) and are looking for an exciting placement year in development or QA, contact Sharon Didrichsen, Specialisterne NI at Sharond@specialisterne.com Mobile 07565 9362191 to apply or for further details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connect4 Social Impact Partner- Invitation for Expressions of Interest

 

 

Social Impact Partner Connect4

 

Specialisterne NI is a not for private profit social enterprise which is part of the Specialisterne international network, which has the aim of 1 million careers for autistic people. Specialisterne NI has worked for 6 years to support autistic people to progress in careers. In the 16 years of Specialisterne’s endeavours to support autistic people, Specialisterne is frequently referenced in research as a case study of good practice.

For 2 years Specialisterne NI’s team of Autism Consultants have engaged autistic young people across 10 schools. The young people’s voices and experiences have shaped Connect4, a new 3-year National Lottery Funded programme which comes directly from autistic young people’s aspirations to have fun and connect more with others, which includes other autistic young people. We are looking for a Social Impact partner to come with us on this and other journeys. You are welcome to apply if you have a curiosity-led depth of knowledge in social impact measurement, dislike tick boxes, and have experience in and tools to listen to the voices of young people, who may use different ways to get a message across. The Social impact Partner will journey with Connect4 participants and the Specialisterne NI team to provide:

  • An independent space for participants (which include autistic young people, non-autistic young people, and school staff) to ask any questions regarding the programme
  • Feeding back any changes participants want to participants and the Connect4 team, which supports Specialisterne’s Lean cycle of listening and implementing change.
  • An independent measure of is anyone better off, and how could participants be even better off?
  • With participants develop a measure of the whole school and societal benefits of creating an in-school and inter-school autistic community, which may include an economic value
  • An annual report for participants and others regarding the Connect4 journey and evolving impact, including recommendations
  • Advice and guidance to Specialisterne NI on further developing internal social impact tools

As we are at the start of this journey, and Connect4 is across 10 schools, we do not know how many days per year the independent role will involve. We are inviting interested parties to submit an expression of interest, which details

  1. Why you think you or your organisation are best positioned to partner with Specialisterne NI on the Connect 4 programme as it’s Social Impact Partner
  2. What tools and methodologies you would suggest.
  3. An outline of the first year’s activities as the Connect4 Social Impact Partner
  4. Examples of relevant previous experience you may have, which includes examples of social impact reports you have completed.
  5. What qualifications you may have, and courses or training completed related to social impact measurement.
  6. What experience you have
    1. with young people,
    2. with autistic people,
    3. with people who face barriers to having their voice listened to and acted upon.
  7. Daily rate and any other cost considerations.

Please send an expression of interest before 31 January 2020 to Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com

Mobile 07565 936191

Connect4 is funded by the National Community Lottery Fund as part of its Empowering Young People programme. https://www.specialisterneni.com/launching-connect4/

 

 

 

Just Right, a well-being programme for autistic students

Specialisterne NI is delighted to be supported by the Public Health Agency through the CLEAR Project to deliver Just Right, a well-being programme designed to support autistic students at college or university to learn more about skills and autistic strategies to manage college life and get ready for work.

Just Right is made up of 3 different activities:

  • A Lego Mindstorms Workshop, where you build robots in small teams and the Specialisterne Autism specialist team give you a profile of skills related to working in a team, managing a task and self-management, which can help you develop strategies for college and work
  • Thriving Workshops- a 5 module autistic well-being programme, developed by Autism Specialists Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett, with Specialisterne Australia. Specialisterne. Thriving includes videos and individual workbooks and covers the following:
    • Stress and sensory management tools
    • Social tools
    • Thinking tools
    • Organisational tools
    • Creating a Plan to Thrive
  • Just Right participants will also have opportunity to enjoy board games together and receive individual support to feel more ready for college and work.

Specialisterne NI is an Autism at Work specialist provider, which is part of the international Specialisterne network, which has worked over 15 countries for 15 years to support 1 million autistic people to secure a next career step. In N Ireland Specialisterne is privileged to work with leading employers across a range of job sectors, and to facilitate autistic communities for school pupils and adults on the autistic spectrum. The Specialisterne NI team have all studied autism at university and use this knowledge, and daily practical learning with autistic people, to help you develop strategies to thrive.

For further information regarding Just Right, contact Sharond@specialisterne.com Mobile 07565 936191

Just Right is supported by the Public Health Agency through the CLEAR Project

 

Launching Connect4, a new in-school and inter-school autistic community

This week Specialisterne NI  are celebrating the launch of Connect4, a new in-school and inter-school autistic community which has been designed by 100 autistic young people across 10 secondary schools in N Ireland. The programme is called Connect4 as the young people designed it to have fun and connect with others, including other autistic young people, both in their own school and in other schools. Connect4 is funded by the National Community Lottery Fund as part of its Empowering Young People programme.

What does Connect4 involve?

Connect4 is made up of ICONNECT, INTERCONNECT and WE CONNECT programme activities. All activities are hop-on and hop-off, which means participants get to take part when it suits them and their studies.

ICONNECT

  • In individual and group sessions participants learn how to connect more with others through role-play, games and discussion

INTERCONNECT

  • Interest Groups- lunchtime or after-school groups and activities.
  • Inter-school monthly group workshops.
  • Summer programme- trips and interest groups over the summer.

WE CONNECT

  • Connect4 sessions for teaching and support staff where staff learn what Connect4 participants would like them to know
  • ‘Bring a friend’ workshops where participants can invite non-autistic pupils
  • Future Connect workshops when participants learn from employer mentors, including autistic mentors, who share how you can best get ready for work, and what it is like to be an autistic adult in N Ireland and in other countries.

Isn’t that 3 parts- Connect3?

It is 3 parts! The Connect4 of the title refers to the small groups of shared interests, e.g. Fortnite, Oculus VR, stage make-up, acting, Lego League, board games, or football. Having at least 3 other young people who share your interest is pretty cool, although Connect10 was suggested!

Won’t Connect4 affect my studies?

We hope it will (positively)! The Connect4 team liaise with the school staff so that it fits in with school life and is a win-win. Teaching staff and classroom assistants who took part in the 2 year pilots report that participants performed better in their studies. They thought this was because participants seemed more confident and looked forward to taking part in the workshops.

Why Connect4?

Connect4 connects autistic young people across schools to have fun together and learn from each other.

This fits in with the National Lottery Community Fund, ‘Empowering Young People’s aims which are that

  • Young people will have more skills they need for the future.
  • Young people will have better relationships with their support networks and communities.
  • Young people will have improved health and well-being.

Who leads Connect4?

The participants! The most common word in young people’s feedback so far has been fun! The Connect4 team listen to Connect4 participants who decide what activities they want to do and when, on an ongoing basis, In this way participants create their own programme which is important as it takes away some stress ‘ When you do something there is not a lot of stress.’

Who is Specialisterne NI?

Specialisterne NI is part of an international network working across 15 countries for 15 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 it’s 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.

How do I take part?

There are 50 places per year in Connect4. To find out more or to take part, contact Elaine Stephens at Elaine.stephens@specialisterne.com or ask your school SENCO to contact Elaine.

Would you like to join our team? We are currently recruiting the Connect4 team, see details https://www.specialisterneni.com/connect4jobroles/

We look forward to hearing from you!

We are recruiting a new team! Senior Autism Consultant and Autism Consultants- Connect4, a ground-breaking new in-school and inter-school autistic community programme designed by 100 autistic pupils.

 

Specialisterne Northern Ireland is an Autism at Work consultancy, which opened in Belfast in April 2014. As part of the Specialisterne International Network, which spans 15 countries for 15 years, and which pioneered the Autism at Work movement, we aim to support autistic people to get ready for, secure, and sustain, rewarding careers.

We are excited to launch Connect4, a ground-breaking new in-schools and inter-schools autistic community programme which has been designed by 100 autistic pupils across 10 schools. If you are passionate about autism, enjoy listening to autistic young people and following the lead of autistic young people, and you would like to make a difference in the experience of school for autistic young people, we would like to invite you to apply to join the new Connect4 team.

This is an excellent opportunity to join a unique not-for-private-profit organisation in Northern Ireland where you will have the opportunity to work with a small team of autism specialists seeking to develop new tools and techniques which support the career development and well-being of autistic people. Connected to initiatives for autistic young people worldwide, this is an opportunity to innovate in relation to the well-being of autistic young people by contributing to a new model of inclusion in mainstream schools, designed by autistic young people themselves.

Connect4 is a 3 year programme which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. It is part of the Empowering Young People programme of the National Lottery Community Fund.

Job Title: Senior Autism Consultant and Autism Consultants- Connect4, a groundbreaking new in-school and inter-school programme designed by 100 autistic pupils. (Full-time hours (37.5 hours) and part-time hours (18.75 hours)).

The Connect4 programme was designed following 2 years consultation with 100 autistic young people and consultation with school staff, including classroom assistants, SENCOs, and teaching teams. As a result, Connect4 will support 50+ autistic young people per year who are in mainstream schools or who are home-schooled, to get ready to connect with each other, have more opportunities to connect with each other through fun activities, and will inform teaching and support staff and peers in what autistic young people would like them to know.

Connect4 activities will take place in-school and at Specialisterne NI. The Connect4 team of 5 will be composed of Autism Consultants and Senior Autism Consultants who are working full-time or part-time.

Overview: Senior Autism Consultant, Connect4

The Connect4 Senior Autism Consultant will deliver participant support and will be involved in Connect4 programme delivery. The Connect4 Senior Autism Consultant will oversee the linking of Connect4 into school life, so that Connect4 supports pupils to experience success in the school context. Specifically, the Connect4 Senior Autism Consultant will be responsible for:

Overseeing

  • Participant activity and progress, ensuring Connect4 complements and adds to school life
  • Co-ordinating times of sessions in schools

Delivery

  • Delivery on all aspects of Connect4 including:

ICONNECT

  • 1-1 and group sessions, which support participants to develop strategies to connect with others
  • Connect4 curriculum development, responsive to participants’ evolving needs

INTERCONNECT

  • Interest Groups- lunchtime or after-school groups and activities
  • Inter-school monthly group workshops
  • Summer programme, supporting participants to connect with others on trips and interest groups

WE CONNECT

  • Teaching /support staff Connect4 sessions
  • Peer workshops
  • Future Connect – employer mentor activities

Design

  • Utilising Autism experience and expertise to contribute to ongoing project design.
  • Contribute to international research forums and professional networks, research what is being done to support Autistic people across the world. Report on these to team and to participant panel.
  • Support people in the lead.
  • Leading panel meetings
  • Collating participant feedback.
  • Maintaining social impact records.

Ethos

The Connect4 Autism Consultant will ensure all project activities reflect Empowering Young People core outcomes so that:

  • Young people will have more skills they need for the future, including more opportunities to connect with autistic young people at their and other schools.
  • Young people will have better relationships with their support networks and communities, these support networks and communities include other autistic young people, non-autistic peers, staff at school.
  • Young people will have improved health and well-being.

Person Specification

Essential

  • Study in a relevant subject area at undergraduate or post graduate level (this includes currently studying or completed). Examples of relevant study include Atypical Development, Psychology, Education, Community, Autism Spectrum related, Sensory Integration. Other subject areas will also be considered in terms of relevance.
  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of autism.
  • Open to learn and to research new tools and techniques that may support Connect4 programme participants to secure Connect4 goals.
  • Aptitude for empowering autistic young people by facilitating autistic people leading.

Desirable

  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of autism.
  • Experience in supporting children, young people, or adults on the autistic spectrum to achieve the changes they want.
  • Experience in and aptitude for empowering autistic young people by facilitating autistic people leading.
  • Experience in supporting people in small groups.
  • Experience in documentation of work to a high standard.
  • An aptitude for or willingness to learn programming elements of Lego Mindstorms (applies to one of the roles available).
  • Experience of working in a school environment.
  • A driving licence or ability to travel to participating schools when required (and within working hours).

Terms and Conditions
• 37.5 hours weekly for full-time roles, 18.75 hours for part-time roles, times to be agreed with the successful candidate. Hours typically between 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday -Friday. Location: Based at the Specialisterne NI offices, Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast.
•The position is fixed term and is expected to run to November 2022. Salary range: £25-28k, commensurate with experience. There is a 6-month induction plan with Autism Specialists, followed by ongoing learning and professional development.

• Specialisterne NI is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Employment to this post is therefore subject to an Access NI Enhanced Check.
• Specialisterne NI is an equal opportunities employer.

The Connect4 programme is  funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Overview: Autism Consultant, Connect4

The Connect4 Autism Consultant will deliver participant support and will be involved in Connect4 project delivery. Specifically, the Connect4 Autism Consultant will be responsible for:

Delivery

ICONNECT

  • 1-1 and group sessions, which support participants to develop strategies to connect with others.

INTERCONNECT

  • Interest Groups- lunchtime or after school groups and activities
  • Inter-school monthly group workshops
  • Summer programme, supporting participants to connect with others on trips and interest groups

WE CONNECT

  • Peer workshops
  • Future Connect – employer mentor activities

Design

  • Utilising Autism experience and expertise to support participants to contribute to ongoing project design.
  • Contribute to international research forums and professional networks, research what is being done to support Autistic people across the world. Report on these to team and to participant panel.

Ethos

The Connect4 Autism Consultant will ensure all project activities reflect Empowering Young People core outcomes so that:

  • Young people will have more skills they need for the future, including more opportunities to connect with autistic young people at their and other schools.
  • Young people will have better relationships with their support networks and communities, these support networks and communities include other autistic young people, non-autistic peers, staff at school.
  • Young people will have improved health and well-being.

Person Specification

Essential

  • Study in a relevant subject area at undergraduate or post graduate level (this includes currently studying or completed). Examples of relevant study include Atypical Development, Psychology, Education, Community, Autism Spectrum related, Sensory Integration. Other subject areas will also be considered in terms of relevance.
  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of autism.
  • Open to learn and to research new tools and techniques that may support Connect4 programme participants to secure Connect4 goals.
  • Aptitude for empowering autistic young people by facilitating autistic people leading.

Desirable

  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of autism.
  • Experience in supporting children, young people, or adults on the autistic spectrum to achieve the changes they want.
  • Experience in supporting people in small groups.
  • Experience in documentation of work to a high standard.
  • An aptitude for or willingness to learn programming elements of Lego Mindstorms (applies to one of the roles available).
  • A driving licence or ability to travel to participating schools when required (and within working hours).

Terms and Conditions
• 37.5 hours weekly for full-time roles, 18.75 hours for part-time roles, times to be agreed with the successful candidate. Hours typically between 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday -Friday. Location: Based at the Specialisterne NI offices, Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast.
•The position is fixed term and is expected to run to November 2022. Salary range: £20-24k, commensurate with experience. There is a 6-month induction plan with Autism Specialists, followed by ongoing learning and professional development.

• Specialisterne NI is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Employment to this post is therefore subject to an Access NI Enhanced Check.
• Specialisterne NI is an equal opportunities employer.

The Connect4 programme is  funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Application Process
• Interested applicants should send a Curriculum Vitae to:
Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne NI
By email: sharond@specialisterne.com
Or by post to:
Sharon Didrichsen
Specialisterne NI
Skainos
239 Newtownards Road
Belfast
BT4 1AF
• Closing date for applications: 31 October 2019
• For additional information regarding Specialisterne NI, visit https://www.specialisterneni.com or contact Sharon Didrichsen at sharond@specialisterne.com Mobile 07565 936191

Bank of Autism Consultants

• With applicant permission, applicants from the shortlist for this post may also be considered for Recruit Autism Consultant roles, and/or the Specialisterne NI Bank of Autism Consultants for part-time or full-time roles.