One of the greatest difficulties faced by people on the Spectrum (both young people transitioning from school to work and older adults) is the prospect of employment. Statistics don’t paint a pretty picture. Only about 1 in 5 Aspergian adults are gainfully employed. What makes this statistic even more painful is the simple fact that unemployment and underemployment of Aspergians has nothing to do with their abilities. Most people with Asperger’s have above average intelligence. Some even fall into the genious category. The problem lies in perception. For instance, take Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16-year-old climate-change advocate and TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. She is a teenager, for a start, and she has Asperger’s, both of which invite ridicule and scorn from some members of society. Especially, Asperger’s. She has been called stupid and retarted – all because of how people perceive what Asperger’s Syndrome is.
Here we present you with a list of Websites that you can visit to help with employment preparation and other related issues.
Employment for 16 to 19 year olds with Asperger’s – (Parenting Aspergers Community) – This page has many helpful articles, provided by Dave Angel, that attempt to answer parents’ concerns regarding their children who are facing the realities of the world they will have to exist in after graduating from high school.
Transition to Adulthood – (VCU Autism Center for Excellence) – “Adolescence is a difficult period in any person’s life. It is a time of great physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Adolescents must learn to deal with an ever increasing complexity of social experiences. Transitioning into adulthood can be intimidating; however, there are resources to help families, professionals, and the individual with ASD navigate the transition successfully!”
Supporting the Transition to Adulthood – The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CSESA) is a five-year research and development project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on developing, adapting, and studying a comprehensive school-based and community-based education program for high school students on the autism spectrum.
Transition Undefined – (autism after 16) – As students with Autism Spectrum Disorder reach adolescence and enter the Transition phase of their education, there is one very important word in the definition of “transition” that is often overlooked: “To”. To what are they transitioning? The transition destination isn’t as simple as a single pinpoint on a map.
Employment for People with ASD (autismhelp.ifo) – autismhelp.info is an initiative of Gateways Support Services. The site aims to increase awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder through providing practical strategies, information and resources to parents, teachers, childcare workers and professionals in the field. This page deals with the types of work and other employment related issues faced by adults on the Spectrum.
Ace-It in College – (VCU) – VCU’s ACE-IT in College is an inclusive learning and training program for transition-age adults with intellectual disabilities. With individualized support, ACE-IT in College students participate in employment, college classes, and campus activities. These college experiences create opportunity and prepare students to pursue self-determined futures.
Employment – (AANE) – Those with Asperger profiles often have significant skills, abilities, and talents in a wide range of fields in addition to having a great desire to contribute to society and make a difference in the world. We need people who think differently to innovate, create, and solve problems. Unfortunately, many individuals with Asperger profiles who have these abilities are not given ample opportunities to contribute. Despite the fact that most individuals with Asperger profiles have an above average IQ, roughly 12% of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum are employed full-time; the remaining 88% are either unemployed or underemployed.
Pathways to Employment – (Jewish Family and Children’s Service) – Pathways to Employment is a program sponsored by the Jewish community to help people with disabilities gain the skills needed to be independent and successful at work. The program is for adults who are motivated to work but need to develop workplace soft skills.
Aspire Teen and Adult Programs – (Massachusetts General Hospital) – Aspire offers teens and adults with a high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or related social profile a variety of ways to learn independent living skills, develop positive relationships and support successful transitions.