14% of adults with ASD are employed in their community. That’s what a study by Drexel University showed. And others studies throw around equally bleak numbers, anywhere from 66% to 89% rates of unemployment for people with autism. When you take into consideration that 1 in 68 people have ASD (according to the CDC) the number of unemployed is staggering.
What can we do about this?
I believe the action should be two-pronged. First, we need to work with individuals that have autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to provide instruction on workplace expectations and skills with the ultimate aim of creating independent employees. Second, we need to help employers and coworkers understand the benefits of hiring people with ASD and how to encourage their Aspie and Autistic colleagues to develop, maintain, and grow their skills. The ASD community has a lot to offer and it’s time we gave them the opportunity to shine!
Stay tuned, more blogs in this series to follow!
Rebecca J. Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating positive strategies for employment? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.
Source: Roux, Anne M., Rast, Jessica E., Anderson, Kristy A., and Shattuck, Paul T. National Autism Indicators Report: Developmental Disability Services and Outcomes in Adulthood. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 2017.
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