Work tasks can range from basic tasks (such as following a timetable or visual schedule) to more complex tasks (such as running a mini enterprise company or managing money). All these tasks prepare teenagers for future employment.
Temple Grandin reminds us that before a student with autism prepares to leave school he or she needs to get work experience. The student needs to be prepared gradually for the transition to employment.
The process can only begin when the strengths and interests of the student have been recognised.
The student centred procedure and planning must include
Any future work experiences must reflect what the student wishes to do in the future as a career. The learning from such experiences must be documented and used again at application or interview for other jobs. Grandin reminds us that the student with autism may have to let their skills sell them at such stages in life rather than relying on the student to verbally sell themselves, build a portfolio of accomplishment and ability rather than simply adding it to a CV.
In school and at home, photographs and examples of the student’s achievements can be scanned into a computer and used to demonstrate experience.
We must also remember that our dream job may not be the dream job of the young person with autism. We must not allow our ideas to influence the views of the student.
Grandin, 1999, “In conclusion: a person with Asperger syndrome or autism has to compensate for poor social skills by making themselves so good in a specialised field that people will be willing to “buy” their skill even though social skills are poor.”
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