|Barriers to Positive Employment Outcomes for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders
|Sunday, May 28, 2017
|11:00 AM–11:50 AM
|Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
|Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
|Discussant: Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University)
|CE Instructor: Robert W. Isenhower, Ph.D.
As students approach adulthood and age out of the school system, the resources available to them for support are often limited. These challenges are heightened for individuals who require more supports (e.g., severe intellectual disability, the presence of maladaptive behavior). Limited funding and few available service providers further restrict the opportunities available to this population. The purpose of the current symposium is to share and identify some of the barriers to positive employment outcomes and highlight strategies for increasing the integration of older individuals in vocational/community settings. The first presentation will explore issues ranging from addressing interfering behavior (vocal and/or motor stereotypy) interfering with integration at community job sites. The second talk will outline vocational assessment strategies for improving job outcomes for individuals with ASD. The symposium will conclude with a discussion about short and long term goals for improving the available employment resources for individuals with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.
|Instruction Level: Intermediate
|Keyword(s): adults, autism, employment
Response Interruption and Redirection as an Intervention for an Adult With Autism to Address Automatically-Maintained Stereotypical Behavior in Vocational Placements
|JAMES MARAVENTANO (DDDC), Jenna Budge (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
While not a defining characteristic for individuals autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), challenging behavior is a common concern for this population. As individuals with ASD mature, challenging behavior becomes increasingly difficult to mediate due to the learners physical characteristics (e.g. height, weight, strength) and a longer history of reinforcement as compared to their younger counterparts. With regular, gainful employment as a terminal goal for many families and individuals with ASDs, it is important for practitioners to focus on improving socially stigmatizing and/or dangerous challenging behaviors emitted by individuals with ASD in the workplace. The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the implementation of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) on automatically-maintained vocal and motor stereotypy for an adult diagnosed with ASD. Preliminary results of this intervention suggest RIRD to be an effective strategy for reducing the frequency and duration of this socially-stigmatizing challenging behavior, across center-based and community-based vocational placements.
The Use of Vocational Assessments to Improve Employment Outcomes for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders
|JENNA BUDGE (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), Kimberly Boley (Rutgers University), James Maraventano (DDDC), Jacqueline Smith (Rutgers University)
The primary purpose of a public education is to prepare individuals to function as independently as possible while being prepared for integration into the workforce after graduation. This responsibility becomes more challenging when programming for individuals with special needs as they age out of the public school system. These challenges are heightened for individuals who require more supports (e.g., severe intellectual disability, the presence of maladaptive behavior). Limited funding and relatively few available service providers further restrict the opportunities available to this population. As students with special needs reach adolescence, academic targets often shift to more functional forms of programming (e.g., vocational goals). While most stakeholders acknowledge that the development of vocational skills is critical, relatively few procedures have been developed to assess vocational aptitude and integrate client preference into goal selection. The purpose of the current investigation was to design and implement an assessment to identifying vocational strengths for individuals with ASD. In addition, we sought to evaluate preferences for different forms of vocational tasks to integrate choice into programming.