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Autism, 2.08 (V) What are Some Helpful Tips for Finding Work?

In this lesson, I will share some helpful tips for supporting adults in finding work. In addition, Steve Rooter will challenge the readiness model mindset that we so commonly apply to individuals with disabilities. He explains the value of allowing people to attempt tasks, and perhaps to fail at them, as part of the dynamic of learning and gaining competence. So some tips for adults with autism spectrum disorders include, assessing strengths and interests, in order to try to find work and match employment opportunities to those strengths, passions, and interests. This may include some type of micro-enterprise or self-employment. One example is a young man who had a passion and interest for construction. It started as a small child with an interest in building with Legos and assembling the parts for different Lego kits. But his passion grew, and eventually he was able to find work putting together the floor models of different furniture pieces for a large box retail chain. Another tip is to volunteer and to do internships. Both to learn job skills and to establish relationships with potential employers. Also, developing a portfolio or a website that showcases one's talents and abilities can be a far more effective way than a traditional resume and job interview approach to finding work. It's also important to find out about the supports available to adults, including the Disabled Student Service Center on college campuses, the Department of Rehabilitation, or the local state disability services, which in California is the Regional Center. And finally, don't be afraid to take some risks and try new things. You never know what might come from trying something new or different. Being able to advocate for one's self is important. And one way to do so is for students to take an active role in developing their individualized educational plan. Here, I offer some tips to help engage students in this process. It's important to get kids to participate in their individualized educational plan, or 504 accommodation plan. But how do they do it if It in a meaningful way. One strategy is to plan ahead and use a simple form to get your child's input on their strengths, what's easy for them, what's hard for them, and most importantly what helps. This is Devon's input into his IEP. Devon starts by identifying his strengths. Devon says, I'm good at video games and technology, sports, and math, science, and history. Devon also identifies some of the things that are challenging for him. His weaknesses are I'm not good at organization or focus. The hardest time of day to focus is after lunch. Below you'll see a break down of the class periods, where Devon further identifies for each class or each subject area, what's easy, what's hard, and most importantly, what helps. For example, you'll see in the area of math, Devon says most math work is easy but it's sometimes hard to fit his work on his paper. So, being able to use extra paper is helpful for him. He also indicates that extra time on tests can be helpful. You'll see in history, Devon says that what's easy is group work, listening in class, and learning about history using media. But what's hard is organizing assignments, projects and papers, doing long reading assignments and taking notes. One of the things that Devon says helps with history and note taking is getting a copy of the notes in advance. This is easy for teachers who may use PowerPoint. Across several subject areas, you'll see that Devon indicates it's difficult for him to write, especially link the assignment. But one of the things that helps is being able to use a computer. Having access to a computer might be an accommodation that the IEP team determines is appropriate whenever Devon has long writing assignments. Being able to identify one's strengths, needs, and accommodations are the beginnings of self advocacy, which is a critical skill for anyone with a disability to have, as they leave school and enter the adult world of work. » One of the challenge for people with disabilities is the fact that there's a readiness model that many people subscribe to. Which is that we need to make sure that people are ready for certain activities or certain task before they're ever given an opportunity to try those tasks. And I like to use the example of driving. There is no one at 16 who is ready to drive. But we give people that responsibility and through the responsibly of driving people transform. They become more responsible, they become more capable. And for people with disabilities, if they're not given tasks that maybe more difficult than they're ready to do at that particular moment. And aren't given the ability to make mistakes and sometimes fail from those. We're really holding them down because the reality is, when we faced with those types of opportunities, we will often times raise up to the level from what's required from that. And I think that for people with disabilities, it's a very important thing to not always determine whether or not a person is ready to do a certain task. But, instead, to simply just say let's try this out. And allow the person the opportunity to rise up to the challenge.



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In this lesson, I will share some helpful tips for supporting adults in finding work. In addition, Steve Rooter will challenge the readiness model mindset that we so commonly apply to individuals with disabilities. He explains the value of allowing people to attempt tasks, and perhaps to fail at them, as part of the dynamic of learning and gaining competence. So some tips for adults with autism spectrum disorders include, assessing strengths and interests, in order to try to find work and match employment opportunities to those strengths, passions, and interests. This may include some type of micro-enterprise or self-employment. One example is a young man who had a passion and interest for construction. It started as a small child with an interest in building with Legos and assembling the parts for different Lego kits. But his passion grew, and eventually he was able to find work putting together the floor models of different furniture pieces for a large box retail chain. Another tip is to volunteer and to do internships. Both to learn job skills and to establish relationships with potential employers. Also, developing a portfolio or a website that showcases one's talents and abilities can be a far more effective way than a traditional resume and job interview approach to finding work. It's also important to find out about the supports available to adults, including the Disabled Student Service Center on college campuses, the Department of Rehabilitation, or the local state disability services, which in California is the Regional Center. And finally, don't be afraid to take some risks and try new things. You never know what might come from trying something new or different. Being able to advocate for one's self is important. And one way to do so is for students to take an active role in developing their individualized educational plan. Here, I offer some tips to help engage students in this process. It's important to get kids to participate in their individualized educational plan, or 504 accommodation plan. But how do they do it if It in a meaningful way. One strategy is to plan ahead and use a simple form to get your child's input on their strengths, what's easy for them, what's hard for them, and most importantly what helps. This is Devon's input into his IEP. Devon starts by identifying his strengths. Devon says, I'm good at video games and technology, sports, and math, science, and history. Devon also identifies some of the things that are challenging for him. His weaknesses are I'm not good at organization or focus. The hardest time of day to focus is after lunch. Below you'll see a break down of the class periods, where Devon further identifies for each class or each subject area, what's easy, what's hard, and most importantly, what helps. For example, you'll see in the area of math, Devon says most math work is easy but it's sometimes hard to fit his work on his paper. So, being able to use extra paper is helpful for him. He also indicates that extra time on tests can be helpful. You'll see in history, Devon says that what's easy is group work, listening in class, and learning about history using media. But what's hard is organizing assignments, projects and papers, doing long reading assignments and taking notes. One of the things that Devon says helps with history and note taking is getting a copy of the notes in advance. This is easy for teachers who may use PowerPoint. Across several subject areas, you'll see that Devon indicates it's difficult for him to write, especially link the assignment. But one of the things that helps is being able to use a computer. Having access to a computer might be an accommodation that the IEP team determines is appropriate whenever Devon has long writing assignments. Being able to identify one's strengths, needs, and accommodations are the beginnings of self advocacy, which is a critical skill for anyone with a disability to have, as they leave school and enter the adult world of work. » One of the challenge for people with disabilities is the fact that there's a readiness model that many people subscribe to. Which is that we need to make sure that people are ready for certain activities or certain task before they're ever given an opportunity to try those tasks. And I like to use the example of driving. There is no one at 16 who is ready to drive. But we give people that responsibility and through the responsibly of driving people transform. They become more responsible, they become more capable. And for people with disabilities, if they're not given tasks that maybe more difficult than they're ready to do at that particular moment. And aren't given the ability to make mistakes and sometimes fail from those. We're really holding them down because the reality is, when we faced with those types of opportunities, we will often times raise up to the level from what's required from that. And I think that for people with disabilities, it's a very important thing to not always determine whether or not a person is ready to do a certain task. But, instead, to simply just say let's try this out. And allow the person the opportunity to rise up to the challenge.


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