Published on February 18, 2014
Employing Adults on the Autism Spectrum Laura Grofer Klinger, Ph.D. TEACCH Autism Program Services Across the Lifespan
Changing Prevalence of ASD • When TEACCH was created in 1972, the rate of ASD was 1 in 2500. • 2002: 1 in 150. • 2006: 1 in 110. • 2008: 1 in 88. Center for Disease Control and Preven)on (2012). • 8 year olds in 2002 are now 20 years old. ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Increasing Rates of Adults with ASD • Based on these estimates, we will see a 78% increase in demand for adult services for individuals with ASD in the next 6 years. • The number of individuals with ASD using Vocational Rehabilitation services rose a dramatic 121% from 2002 to 2006 (Cimera & Cowan, 2009). ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Whole Person View Marital status and/ or nuclear family Friends or acquaintances Membership in religious/ community organizations What you do for a living Where and how you live (urban/suburban/rural)
Postsecondary Education and Employment (19-23 Year Olds) 100 Percent 80 55.1 60 40 20 34.9 34.7 9.3 0 Vocational Training 2 or 4 Year College (NLTS2 Study; Shattuck et al., 2012) Paid Employment No Activities
Full-Time Employment (21-25 Year Olds) 100 73.3 Percent 80 62.8 60 39.7 40 20 20.9 0 ASD Intellectual Disability (NLTS2 Study; Roux et al., 2013) Langugae Disorder Learning Disability
Young adults with ASD without an intellectual disability are three times more likely to have no daytime activities compared to adults with ASD who have an intellectual disability. Taylor & Seltzer, 2011 ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
ASD Challenges to Successful Employment • Learning Styles (Organization/Attention): – Need specific and detailed job expectations. – Need organized work environment to improve accuracy and productivity. • Social Skills: – Difficulties understanding the perspective or “theory of mind” of colleagues can lead to social “faux pas” in the work or college setting. • Emotion Regulation: – High anxiety can lead to poor emotion regulation. – Sensory processing difficulties can lead to emotional outbursts. ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
ASD Strengths for Successful Employment • Visual processing. • Focus on details. • Ability to complete tasks with clear rules and structure. • Often the most committed employees. ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Promising Transition Programs • Project Search (Riehle, 2006). – High school “internship” model. – 87.5% employed after participation (Wehman et al., 2013). • TEACCH School Transition to Employment (T-STEP) – 14 week school based intervention. – Targets organization, social skills, emotion regulation. ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
TEACCH Supported Employment • • • • • • Individuals Placed in Employment: 500+ Current Individuals Supported: 250 Number of Job Placements: 600+ Salary (hourly) $7.15-21.00+ Hours Worked per Week: 3 – 45 12 month Employment Rates: 85% Updated 1-1-2012 ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Characteristics of Successful Employment Programs • Match the unique strengths and interests of individuals with ASD with the job. • Provide supports for organization, social skills, emotion regulation. ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Balancing Business & Service Delivery Needs • How can small businesses support the organization, social skills, emotion regulation needs of adults with ASD? • What is the definition of success? – Part time or full time employment? – Salary? – Life satisfaction? – Number of individuals employed or revenue generated? ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
Balancing Business Practices with Non-Profit Goals • The question is not “how much money do we make” but instead how can we develop a sustainable business that delivers superior performance relative to our mission (Collins, 2005). ©TEACCH Au)sm Program
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