HealthDay News — There is international consensus as to the importance of work experience and vocational training for helping individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) obtain employment, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research, held from May 9 to 12 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Matthew D. Lerner, Ph.D., from Stony Brook University in New York, and colleagues administered a standardized survey instrument to identify common factors regarding employment in ASD in the United States, Australia, and Sweden. Fifty-one, 28, and 37 adults, respectively, with ASD completed the survey online in the three target countries.
The researchers found that there was international consensus indicating the importance of work experience and vocational training in helping individuals with ASD to obtain a job (>89 percent rating). Across countries, only 68 percent of participants indicated that educating staff about ASD prior to hiring an individual was important for obtaining a job. For maintaining a job, all participants across countries indicated that focusing on individuals’ strengths in the workplace was important. Across countries, only 50 to 75 percent of participants indicated that increased or modified pay rates would be valuable for job maintenance.
“These results highlight the unique goals and priorities of individuals with ASD as they enter — and try to remain — in the workplace around the world,” the authors write.