Second Thoughts, Learning to Think Differently About the People We Meet. A new initiative for pupils on the Autistic Spectrum (aged 14-18).

Elvin Second Thoughts

In partnership with the NI Executive and as part of the Central Good Relations programme, Specialisterne NI, an Autism at Work social enterprise, is hosting a number of FREE social communication and team working workshops for pupils on the Autistic Spectrum across Northern Ireland.

What will ‘Second Thoughts’ involve?

Second Thoughts will involve taking part in two workshops:

1. A Lego Mindstorms Workshop where participants build Lego Mindstorms Robots in small teams.

Specialisterne Autism Consultants observe participants working in small teams and prepare individual Social Communication Profiles. These are then shared with each participant, which helps identify individual strengths in relation to managing a task and team working. Young people’s feedback from Lego Workshops has included:
‘It’s opened up mind on things. I never thought I was good at communicating, or working in a team, I may have more qualities than I think’
‘I found it very engaging and it allowed me to understand more about myself and also understand more about others.’
‘It made me feel that I can work with like-minded individuals. Also it was fun, not just by working together but by socialising with them getting to know them.’
‘It gave me more insight into what skills I have and how to develop that further.’
‘I found being a part of a team useful and having to do a task in a group and working with others’

 lego-car-1030x544 2

You can find out more about Lego Workshops here:

2. A Social Communication and Team Working Workshop where a professional actor acts out communication scenarios experienced by people on the  Autistic Spectrum.

Participants observe true-to-life scenarios and discuss strategies to overcome attitudinal and communication barriers. This workshop will also look at what it is like to be on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland. Young people’s feedback from Social Communication Workshops has included:
‘I really liked how they gave different viewpoints of different people on the spectrum.’
‘I liked the way there were roleplayed parts  to show people what it might be like for someone with Autism in that situation.’

Who are Specialisterne NI?

Specialisterne NI, a not-for-profit social enterprise, is part of the international Specialisterne network that has worked in 13 countries, for 13 years to support young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum to prepare for, secure, and thrive in rewarding careers. The Specialisterne NI team have studied Autism to Masters level. We have worked with over 300 young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland, supporting individuals to better recognise their own strengths and abilities, and supporting employers, colleges, universities and organisations to better understand how to develop the skills of people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Why Second Thoughts?

In focus groups with young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum, participants have identified attitudinal and social communication barriers as the two main obstacles to being of communities. ‘Second Thoughts’ workshops seek to support pupils to learn more about social communication, identifying individual strengths and challenges, learning communication strategies, and supporting participants to better understand attitudinal barriers and how to work around these.
Second Thoughts workshops are informed by Autism theory, and the daily lived experience of young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum in N Ireland.

Who should attend?

Second Thoughts is a programme for pupils aged 14-18  who identify with being on the Autistic Spectrum (a diagnosis or statement is not required). We welcome all enquiries about attending the workshops.

Specialisterne NI invites schools in N. Ireland to take part in ‘Second Thoughts’.

Should your school be interested in participating in Second Thoughts, or to book places for pupils, please contact Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne NI
Mob: 07565 936191
The Specialisterne NI team will meet with participating schools and will be available to meet with pupils to answer any questions regarding Second Thoughts.
Workshops will be scheduled at times that suit participating schools.


We look forward to hearing from you!

Specialisterne NI is a not-for-profit social enterprise that works to support people on the  Autistic Spectrum to prepare for, secure, and thrive in rewarding careers.

The ‘Second Thoughts’ programme is financed by the NI Executive, as part of the Central Good Relations Programme.

NIExec2 TBUCLogo New
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *