Sandra Cohen

Carer/family of a person with disability

People with disabilities want real jobs. My son is on the Autism Spectrum. This has many implications for employment readiness and support.
1. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) need services and support to prepare them for the work environment.
2. They need help to find a suitable job.
3. Services need to market the individual’s skills to prospective employers. No-one would employ someone with ASD if this requires extra work by the company and staff. There are some jobs that some individuals with ASD will excell at, but individuals are different and not all with ASD will be able to be given a list and just get on with the job.
4. Training and support is required for company staff, both intially and as an ongoing service.
5. Support will usually be required for the person with ASD, both initially and for some time after beginning the job. It may be necessary to supply 1:1 support for some time in the job.
6. After support is weaned off, regular reviews with the staff and the individual with ASD will be required to ensure that all is going smoothly, with everyone keeping safe at work.
7. Travel to work is another issue to keep in mind. I remember the sad tale in the media, of a young man with a disability who disappeared while going to a work experience site for a few days. His body was later found on train tracks.
8. Triggers that overwhelm the individual with ASD at the workplace need to be worked out and a plan to have a place to rest and calm down with low stimulus and comfort needs to be developed for many people with ASD.
9. There are many references which can be helpful. See The Autism Discussion Page via facebook, which also has books published.