From Autism Transition Handbook
Acknowledgement: The sections on Finding and Ensuring Success on the Job are reprinted here with the kind permission of the Organization for Autism Research, from their publication, Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood. This excellent resource is available for download at the Organization for Autism Research's website at www.researchautism.org.
Early in high school or middle school, with support from both you and the transition team, your child with ASD should:
- Learn more about the wide variety of careers that exist.
- Take part in vocational assessment activities in the community through “job sampling” at the actual places of employment.
- Have the opportunity to learn, by practice and exposure, what his work preferences
- Identify training needs and effective strategies to address deficits.
- Be provided with sufficient opportunity to develop basic competencies in independence, self-monitoring, travel training, and life outside the classroom.
While in high school, your young adult, you, and the transition team should:
- Develop effective disclosure strategies relative to your son’s abilities and needs.
- Identify critical skill deficits that may impede the transition to post-21 life and provide individualized instruction to minimize the deficits.
- If applicable, learn the basics of the interview process and practice being interviewed.
- Learn more about school-to-work programs in the community, which offer opportunities for training and employment through job sampling, youth apprenticeships, cooperative education, tech-prep, mentorships, independent study, and internships.
- Become involved in early work experiences, particularly those emphasizing workbased or on-the-job learning experiences, including volunteering, job sampling (i.e., trying out a job for several hours or days), internship programs, and summer jobs.
- Identify transportation options for getting to and from work, as well as other community-based options; determine to what extent your young adult will need to develop the skills related to using public transportation.
- Reassess interests and capabilities based on real-world experiences and redefinegoals as necessary.
- Identify gaps in knowledge or skills that need to be addressed.
- Contact the DVR or ADD agency and/or the Social Security Administration before age 16 to determine eligibility for services or benefits post-graduation.