With Training, Most With Autism Land Jobs
When offered intensive, specialized training, a new study finds that young people with autism — even those with challenging behaviors — can be highly successful on the job.
Researchers followed a group of high school students, some of whom received traditional special education offerings while others were provided with specialized training and internships through a program called “Project SEARCH with Autism Supports.”
Of the young people who got the extra job training, 87 percent found work in competitive employment situations after graduation compared to just 6 percent in the control group, researchers reported the July issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
“This is the first study of its kind to demonstrate the skills and abilities youth with ASD have and the success they can experience at work,” said Paul Wehman of Virginia Commonwealth University who was the study’s principal investigator.
The findings are particularly significant, Wehman said, since previous research has found that those with autism are employed at even lower rates than others with disabilities.