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Career pathways for young people on the autism spectrum

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It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is required

– Hans Asperger

Hans Asperger was the first researcher to recognise autism as a spectrum condition, highlighting the tremendous diversity of individuals with autism.

We see an array of talents in all young people, and those on the autism spectrum are no different. Unfortunately, many young people struggle to realise the unique benefits of their autism spectrum condition and how this translates to a place in the world of work. Considering the increasing prevalence of autism in recent years, as well as the soaring unemployment rate amongst young school leavers on the autism spectrum (ie. over 50%), this is a massive problem that cannot be ignored.

Neurodiversity can make a young person even better at certain jobs, so taking the time to discover and hone in on those talents with a career coach can be a real game changer in terms of their employment prospects for the future.

Thankfully, Insight is now helping young people on the autism spectrum to recognise their strengths and celebrate their differences. Insight is a comprehensive career development program designed specifically for young people on the autism spectrum. This is an individualised, one-on-one approach to career development that is mindful of the needs of young people on the autism spectrum and addresses major barriers to workforce entry through a thorough analysis of various areas including skills, interests, learning style, sensory sensitivities, personality factors, and training/employment capability.

Our focus on neurodiversity does not ignore the various challenges or limitations young people with autism may face. Rather, we help them to identify their relative strengths and weaknesses as well as tailored strategies to manage and minimise the hurdles they may face as they transition to the workforce.

Early intervention and a preventative approach are considered keys to success for all our students. In fact, we strongly recommend that career discussions begin around age 14 or 15 to create the foundation for a clear pathway and more seamless transitions from education and training to employment.

Our ultimate aim is to help young people on the autism spectrum to find their place in the world of work, a place that celebrates their differences and unique way of seeing the world.

THE INSIGHT PROGRAM

We want each participant who embarks on the Insight program to get the very most out of it.

In order to do this, each young person will meet for an initial discussion so that we may understand their unique needs and how the program can be best delivered to them.

Following this initial meeting, the young person will work with a career coach one-on-one to complete tailored career development modules and career coaching sessions. The career coach will consider the specific needs of the young person, as identified during their initial meeting, and deliver the program according to their specific learning needs.

The young person will receive a personalised career report outlining their key skills, work place and environmental preferences, and information about their learning style and capabilities. This report also includes some potentially suitable career pathways based on the findings of the career report.

An Action Plan is also provided at the completion of the Insight program to assist the young person in taking the steps required to achieve their goals as identified during the coaching phase of the program.

PROGRAM OUTLINE
INITIAL INTERVIEW to identify the young person’s unique needs
MODULE 1 LEARNING PREFERENCES and MOTIVATORS: Identifies key learning & delivery approaches & explores the young person’s main drivers in relation to their career.
MODULE 2 WHO YOU ARE: Identifies key aptitudes, abilities and personality traits. The young person reflects on past tasks or activities to help identify key skill areas.
MODULE 3 SKILLS and WORK TYPES: Looks at which skills the young person enjoys and are good at using and which they wish to avoid. Identifies the young persons work type.
MODULE 4 WORK PREFERENCES and VALUES: Determines the young persons preferred work settings to identify ideal work environments within the context of sensory issues.
MY POTENTIA A language free, culture fair assessment that addresses various barriers including learning difficulties.
CAREER REPORT delivered to young person and their family
CAREER COACHING Four one-on-one sessions with your career coach to undergo guided occupational research to build a career pathway or employability training. Sessions are tailored to each students’ career report.
ACTION PLAN provided outlining the next steps of the young person’s journey

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE INSIGHT PROGRAM? 

The Insight program is designed for 15-30 year old individuals who are on the autism spectrum. This age range reflects the life stage when major transitions occur for a young person in relation to their education and career.  It is a time when many decisions need to be made about a person’s future, but for many people it can be extremely difficult to make these decisions if they’re not sure where to start and have limited information to assist them in the decision making process.

The Insight program provides the young person with a better understanding of their skills, strengths, abilities and their work and learning preferences, which may then be used to:

  • Identify the most appropriate educational options ‘best fit’ for the final years of schooling
  • Assist in the identification of suitable subject choices in secondary school
  • Recognise work experience activities or part-time work opportunities that are a good match for the young person
  • Determine potential career options the young person can further investigate
  • Understand the most appropriate further education pathways for the young person
  • Assist the young person to prepare for employment

At the completion of the program, the young person will have a greater understanding of themselves and their capabilities, and will be armed with information that can aid their career decision making and enable them to transition confidently between education and employment.

INSIGHT & CAREER DECISIONS