Some people with autism are able to enter the working world after they are finished with school. Finding a job, however, can be more challenging for individuals with autism than for neurotypical individuals.
Let’s take a look at what to look for in a job and the resources people with autism can use to find a job.
Selecting a Career for People with ASD
Jobs can be difficult for people with ASD to maintain. More often than not jobs entail many activities that employees don’t find engaging or motivating. Making sure a person with ASD selects a job that keeps them engaged is one of the keys to starting a successful career.
A great way to do this is to find a job with clear duties, responsibilities, goals, or expectations. Knowing exactly what a job entails and what is expected can help a person with ASD know if a job will be right for them.
Talk to Management
People with ASD need to let anyone they work for know their limitations and needs. Talking to management as soon as possible will help smooth out any potential issues regarding routines or communication.
While you should always talk about your autism during interviews, starting a job can be different–the person who interviewed you may be nowhere to be found. Making sure to talk to any managers ASAP is extremely important when starting a new job.
Things to Remember While Preparing for an Interview
Accepting an applicant with autism for a job can be difficult for employers to properly handle. This is because individuals with autism may be more likely to behave differently than neurotypical individuals in work-related situations. Preparing for a job interview for anyone with autism should include preparing a list of accommodations employers may need to know about if certain situations come up at work.
- Where are you required to work? Being comfortable with a static environment could help an autistic employee flourish. Constant moving, however, could create friction.
- Will you have to deal with customers? Even working a stocking job on the floor during shopping hours may lead to an uncomfortable situation.
- Will you only have one job? Many retail or service positions almost require ‘flexibility,’ meaning employees may have to complete tasks that are not in their job description.
- How much communication is required? Constant communication can be hard for people with autism to deal with. Taking a position that requires lots of talking to coworkers or shift managers may be hard to deal with.
Resources: Jobs for People with ASD
Many state and federal agencies exist for people with ASD looking for employment. Here is a list of the top agencies to start with:
- Career One Stops: American Job Centers. A tool that can help find specific jobs that work for individual needs.
- State Vocational Agencies. A state-by-state list of agencies and links for people with autism seeking employment.
- Job Accommodations Network. A network of employers and jobs that are designed for people with special needs or disabilities.
These agencies are great places to start a search for employment for people with ASD. Calling your local city hall or school district can also be a great way to find places that may offer jobs or apprenticeships for people with ASD.
High School programs for children with special needs can last until the child turns 22 years old. Some High Schools have programs with local community colleges or job coaches to help people transition from school to work. Be sure to ask your child’s school about programs like this.
ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants
If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans to use ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.