Specialisterne Foundation is an international, award winning social enterprise setting the “gold standard” for neurodiversity employment. Specialisterne was founded in 2004 by Thorkil Sonne after Sonne’s young son was diagnosed with the disorder, when he realized we should focus on the ability of neurodiversity: attention to detail, high accuracy, innovative thinking, loyalty and honesty rather than the “disability”. In 2012, Specialisterne USA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization began the Autism Advantage movement in the USA starting the highly successful SAP and Microsoft autism employment programs. Under Thorkil’s leadership, the momentum has grown across sectors throughout the US. Smart business leaders know they need to tap into the neurodiversity talent pool and are happy to work with Specialisterne USA to benefit from it. We are now ready to pioneer online training and stackable credentials to help the supply side keep up with corporation and employer demand. Our goal is to enable 100,000 jobs for neurodiverse people in the United States by 2025.
Weed or herb? You decide. The value of what you see depends on who you are.
To most people, the dandelion is nothing more than an annoying weed – something to be rooted out of our lawns and flower beds. But what a lot of people do not know is that, when cultivated, the dandelion is one of the most valuable and useful plants in nature. The dandelion is known for its nutritional, healing and medicinal properties. The value of a dandelion is very much dependent on our knowledge and perception of its value. So is a dandelion a weed or an herb?
A weed is a plant in an environment where it is not welcomed. If the plant is transferred to an environment where it is welcomed – it turns into an herb. We have chosen the seed of the dandelion as our logo to remind everyone that we all have the potential to realize our potential if welcomed and understood. It is the setting that we end up in that determines if we will be able to grow or wither.
More about the Dandelion Principle in this MIT Sloan Review.
Neurodiversity at work
‘Neurodiversity’ is a relatively new term that refers to people who have dyslexia, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and other neurological conditions. These are ‘spectrum’ conditions, with a wide range of characteristics, but which nevertheless share some common features in terms of how people learn and process information.
The neurodiversity paradigm is a specific perspective which holds that neurodiversity is a natural form of human diversity and that all styles of neurocognitive functioning are equally valid.
The neurodiversity movement frames minority neurotypes such as autism as natural human variations, which are authentic forms of human diversity and self-expression rather than pathologies.
Why We Exist
A world where people are given equal opportunities in the labor market.
To educate stakeholders in talent and career development for neurodiverse people through innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing.