Preparing for Employment

Transition Tool Kit

September 2, 2018

While your child is still in high school, you may want to begin the process of learning and educating him or her about possible future careers. Go over the various types of jobs available with your child and start to make a list of those that might match his or her interests and strengths. Try to expose him or her to those specific career areas as much as possible, and continue to build upon the skills that will allow him or her to succeed in the workplace.

Work experience while your child is still in school is an important way to help you understand his or her strengths and challenges within different types of work.

Examples of ways to explore careers while still in school include volunteer opportunities, internships and job sampling. There may even be opportunities at school to practice work – such as general office tasks, working in the school store or helping out at after school programs for younger children.

Experiences such as internships can often help with skill building, job training and eventually the job application process. Your child may be able to connect to a peer or mentor at the internship or volunteer site who can lend a hand if needed. For young adults with autism who have more significant challenges, job coaches can help them reach their full potential. A job coach will assist your child in obtaining a job and provide onsite support and assistance. Your school district may be able to help you find an agency that can supply a job coach.

It is also important to keep in mind when exploring career opportunities that your child may need to build up the endurance and stamina needed to complete his or her workday. It may be helpful to start with one hour per week and slowly build up to more hours on multiple days per week. You will know best what your child is able to do at work, but don’t be afraid to gradually build his or her endurance until an adequate level is reached for him or her to accomplish career goals

Read more about employment and other important topics in the Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit.