Finding employment can be difficult for everyone. Preparing the teenager with autism for the workplace is important.
Encourage part time jobs from early teenage years – developing the relevancy of working
- Ask about work place mentors
- Visit work places
- Produce and continually add to a portfolio of skills – people respect talent, videos, scrap books, photo albums, PowerPoint presentations etc.
- Sell the skills, sell the talents, sell the expertise, sell the work ethic – these should sell the person
“It’s important to get these autistic kids out and exposed to stuff. You’ve got to fill up the database.” (Grandin T, 2010)
Quote taken from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703525704575061123564007514
The National Autistic Society has created a useful handbook and website that may be useful – available from:
Another helpful website with lots of information on topics such as job tips and social skills and assessments to help the teenager with autism discover what activities / career’s they may like, is:
As with any transition, students must be prepared for going to work.
Some useful resources:
- NCSE – Life after school
- Department of Education, finished at school guide
- How to get and keep a job
Books are another helpful resource:
- Helping Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome Get and Stay Hired: Career coaching strategies for professionals and parents of adults on the Autism Spectrum by Barbara Bissonnette (2014) Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK
- Autism All-Stars: How We Use Our Autism and Asperger Traits to Shine in Life, by Josie Santomauro (2011), Jessica Kinsley Publishers, London, UK
Other helpful tips include:
- A good starting point is working out what the teenager wants to do (see http://do2learn.com/subscription/do2learn_plus/jbtips_student.php or http://www.modelmekids.com/autism_job_skills.html )
- Then help the teenager with autism devise a plan to get the qualifications/ skills needed to get the job.
- The teenager with autism should be encouraged to think about their skills and interests and how these could be used to apply for jobs or work experience (see https://www.ted.com/talks/alix_generous_how_i_learned_to_communicate_my_inner_life_with_asperger_s )
- Be realistic about current skills
- Identify training programs and support services (Autism Speaks provide a useful toolkit see http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/docs/employment_tool_kit.pdf )
- Think about work experience first or voluntary work to get some experience.
- Teach the teenager with autism how to:
- Do paperwork
- Write a CV (the Autism Trust provide a helpful video see http://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/the-den/work%20and%20study/the%20facts/how%20do%20i%20write%20a%20cv.aspx )
- Draft cover letters
- Understand pay structures
- Understand workplace behaviour
- Help the student/teenager to learn how to take transport to different locations.
See Consideration for Interview (pptx) for more information and useful tips.
Read next: Other Helpful Online Resources →