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In the interest of their well-being

Types of employment for special needs adults
Types of employment for special needs adults Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

The apex of autism has focused on the discovery and treatment in children. Very little attention has been paid to those children when they become teenagers or when they officially become adults. We would like to think that they will be able to become viably employed; however, according to Medical News Today, this is not always the case.

Vocational Training

Here in Philadelphia vocational training is provided through the public school system for the duration of the special needs student’s high school career. The School District of Philadelphia educates school-aged children in Philadelphia. It is their protocol that specifies transitional planning begins as soon as that child enters the eighth grade.

The Office of Specialized Services, the division that handles special needs students, pairs schools with community organizations and businesses. Students volunteer for two or three hours a day at least twice a week. The organization or business utilizes the extra help while the student gains experience working in an atmosphere outside of school.

The standard child in an ordinary education program can expect to take advantage of a work-study program after the completion of their freshman year, thus they gain maybe three years of paid part-time work experience. A work-study program for special needs children varies slightly in that they provide volunteer service in exchange for work experience. This special arrangement can last longer than usual since special needs children have the option of remaining in school up to 21 years of age. Instead of the child having three years of volunteering, they have five. This extra allotted time can be beneficial to the special needs child.

Placement

If the student adjusts to the workplace outstandingly, the organization or business may offer them employment. Nevertheless, Medical News Today reports that those who are lucky enough to be hired tended to be placed far away from people. Perhaps this move is incorporated in the assumption that special needs adults might feel more comfortable away from the usual hustle and bustle that takes place in the center of a workplace. Special needs adults, especially those on the Autism Spectrum, need stimulating conversational; even if it is on a lower cognitive level. The workplace is the perfect place to see modeled appropriate behavior and to learn conversational language.

In short, employment enables the special needs adult to progress instead of regress. The workplace should be openly and honestly discussed by the employer and employee, and conclude with appropriate placement that is conducive to both parties.