SPECIALISTERNE NETWORK

International Specialisterne Community

Specialisterne Foundation

Specialisterne Foundation is a non-for-profit organization that works to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. The foundation owns Specialisterne Denmark and the Specialisterne concept and trademark.

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Autism and Neurodiversity

“Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible.”

– Frank Zappa

Neurodiversity is the concept that there is diversity in how human brains are wired and work, and that neurological differences should be valued in the same way we value any other human variation.

Everyone one of us is different. There is an inherent diversity of the human condition and neurodiversity refers to variations in the human brain regarding learning, mental functions, sociability, mood and attention.

The term neurotypical can be used to describe the dominant social standard. Neurodivergence refers to neurological differences that are seen as being outside of what is traditionally recognized in society to be the cognitive (or neurotypical) norm. As such it represents a deviation from the dominant social standard. Examples include many neurodevelopmental diagnoses such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, intellectual disability, schizophrenia and some mental health conditions like bipolarity and OCD.

The Neurodiversity Movement is a social justice movement that began in the 1990s, seeks civil rights, equality, respect, and full societal inclusion for the neurodivergent. The term neurodiversity was developed in 1998 by Judy Singer, an autistic sociologist, and was quickly adopted and expanded within and now well-beyond the autism activist community.

Specialisterne began its journey focused on autism. But it did not take long for us to learn that in the employment context, diagnoses are less relevant than personal experience and the impacts of living outside the norm. Many persons who identify as neurodivergent face similar challenges obtaining and maintaining employment. Yet they have the skills and motivations to be an asset to an employer. Specialisterne is here to bring candidates and employers together and to help build successful careers.