Employable Me ABC TV Show

“Follow people with neuro-diverse conditions such as autism, OCD and Tourette syndrome as they search for meaningful employment. This uplifting and insightful series draws on science to uncover people’s hidden skills.”

I am LOVING this tv show on so many levels, in particular how it highlights the difficulty that people with ASD face post school. As they want work but they find it challenging to find jobs that fit their skill set. This is due to the complexity often associated with accommodating for their individual needs (e.g. sensory) in the workplace.

Dear my younger #ActuallyAutistic self,

I’m writing from 2018. 20 years on from when you went for your autism diagnosis. You always knew you were different, but now you’ll know for sure. It will take a while to fully understand.

In your preteens you’ll wish that you were ‘normal’. Normal is a myth. Embrace your difference. There will also be times in your life where you will force yourself through challenging and socially exhausting experiences just to match neurotypicals. That approach will only drain you. Prioritise your wellbeing. Socialise only when you want to.

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School to Work Transitions for Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

It is very important we start preparing students for post school options. A great starting point is getting teenagers involved in volunteer work. The school holidays are a great time to volunteer, checkout the volunteer websites as they have many options available. Jeanette Purkis has written a fantastic book The Wonderful World of Work and has kindly written a tip sheet for this Newsletter.

1. Start the conversation around employment with the young person early. Ideally, this should happen when they are 13 to 15 years old. That way, the transition from education to work will be less scary and unpredictable.

2. Ascertain the young person’s anxieties around working and address them. Once again, the earlier this happens, the better.

3. Focus on the young person’s potential and strengths rather than their problems and deficits.

4. Work on building the young person’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

5. Education is very important in terms of success in the workplace. Try not to view education as a trajectory from school to university to professional job. Instead, see it as a journey, encourage the young person throughout their education journey, whatever they decide to study.

6. Help the young person find a mentor. A good candidate might be an employed person with ASD that the young person admires and/or enjoys spending time with.

7. Encourage a positive view of employment. Give some examples of employed and influential autistic people such as Temple Grandin or Anita Lesko.

8. Have a ‘career day’ where the young person can talk to different people about their jobs. People could be drawn from your own friends and relatives.

9. Think about what kinds of jobs your child or student might be good at and enjoy. You can approach businesses and create a job for them based on their strengths rather than having them apply for advertised jobs which may be inappropriate.

10. Talk about workplace communication. Practice using role plays if you like.

11. Do some research about disability employment service providers in your local area. Be proactive and encourage the employment service to engage with your child/student.

12. You can work through The Wonderful World of Work: A Workbook for Asperteens with the young person.

Check out Jeanette’s Tip Sheet: Success in Employment – Tips for Asperteens – download free on www.suelarkey.com.au


Recommended Resource

The Wonderful World of Work

By Jeanette Purkis

Full of practical information, engaging activities, fun illustrations and inspiring personal stories, this hands-on workbook demystifies the world of work in order to help teenagers with ASD feel confident in their ability to be successful at their studies and get a job and encourages them to think about careers that might suit their skills and interests.

More information about The Wonderful World of Work here