“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Studies show that young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have a bleak outlook for successful transition into adulthood. A minority engages in a post-secondary education or takes the steps to seek a job and reassign themselves to a work environment. Recent studies convey that more than half of young adults with ASD had ever worked for pay in 7 years subsequent to completion of high school. The numbers remain bleak in additional years after school. A higher percentage of individuals with ASD remain shut out of the work force than those with other disabilities, including mentally disabled. Recent studies convey that individuals with ASD who do work earn significantly lower wages than peers of corresponding age with other educational disabilities.
Young adults with ASD face considerable challenges to gain and keep employment. A notable deficit in social skills intensifies the struggles to experience successful interviews and gain employment with the needed purposeful communication skills to relate to and be understood by the general population. Noted social and communication deficits largely originate with the absence of opportunities to naturally learn social skills throughout childhood. These include parent assisted and supported development of play skills, largely in the area of pretend play. Playing restaurant largely enables an individual’s accessibility to later order their own meal at McDonald’s. Building forts or secret hideouts largely leads to an interest in woodworks and/or associated construction/architecture. Job skills have to be learned, and those learned in adolescence inevitably set the preparation for transferring from school to work based upon one essential component: Interests. Given the overwhelming predominance of screen-based fixations (gaming, television), this interest overrides talents that actually lead to increased competency/proficiency for a successful, profitable basis in the job industry. Aside from cases of those with a capacity to use computer technology to build a career (i.e.: graphics design), “interests” defined primarily by gaming or viewing shows via television/internet will not be an acknowledged prospect to lead one to post-secondary school/training and/or establishment of a successful employment future.
Mosaics© will enable participants to define interest, and those interests will be fostered to amplify skills that could lead to development of job skills. Words into Work© will teach, practice, and strengthen each individual’s ability to successfully complete the application, resume, and interview process. Template programs will be used to compose resumes with resume-type dependent upon intellectual and functional/social communicative levels of functioning within the Spectrum.