Home / News / VCU study: Training program helps high school students with autism find – and keep – jobs – Richmond.com

VCU study: Training program helps high school students with autism find – and keep – jobs – Richmond.com

A Virginia Commonwealth University research has proven that almost all students with autism who participated in an intensive expertise coaching program have been capable of get jobs and keep them a minimum of a yr after graduating from high school.

“We have found that most of these students have much more capacity than many people thought,” stated Paul Wehman, the research’s writer and director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Successful Business Practices Leading to Employment of Persons with Disabilities and the VCU Autism Center for Excellence.

The research, which known as “Effects of an employer-based mostly intervention on employment outcomes for youth with vital help wants as a consequence of autism,” will be published in the April 1 edition of the journal “Autism,” in response to a information launch issued by Virginia Commonwealth University.

The research exhibits that there’s “a transparent pathway to aggressive employment” for youth with autism – a gaggle that has historically been chronically unemployed, stated Wehman, a professor within the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation within the School of Medicine and within the Department of Counseling and Special Education within the School of Education.

Three months after commencement, 90 % of the individuals within the program – referred to as Project SEARCH plus Autism Spectrum Disorder Supports – acquired half-time jobs that paid between $9.53 and $10.66 an hour, in response to the information launch. A yr after commencement, 87 % nonetheless had jobs.

Only 6 % of a management group of younger individuals with autism who didn’t take part within the program have been employed three months after commencement and solely 12 % have been employed after a yr.

“There are implications, not just for particular schooling instructor practices, but in addition rehabilitation counselors and physicians who’re analyzing the lengthy-time period work potential of youth with autism,” Wehman stated. “Finally and maybe most necessary, people with autism and their households ought to really feel validated that their true expertise, talents and human potential is being displayed with the appropriate assist and help.”

The research is “the primary randomized medical trial” to point out that students who obtain 9 months of immersion in an internship alongside with utilized conduct evaluation are much more more likely to be employed, Wehman stated.

Graduates of the program now maintain jobs in Richmond and in South Hampton Roads. Employers which have employed the graduates embrace Bon Secours, Lowe’s, Henrico County and Hanover County public faculties, Red Door Salon, Great Harvest and Kroger, amongst others.

A bigger research, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, is making an attempt to duplicate the findings with a bigger group of members. It is scheduled to wrap up later this yr, Wehman stated.

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