There is a distinct employment gap between disabled and non-disabled young adults with disabilities. Unemployment numbers are even higher for adults with autism. Recent statistics show Autism Spectrum Disorder is the fastest growing developmental disorder. The problem this dissertation addressed is the perceptions of employment experienced by young adults with autism and their parents. The literature review was perceived through the lens of a social justice view and disability theory. The review summarized overviews of special education policies, autism, and employment.
The purpose of this research was to give voice to the autism community through a qualitative single case study with multiple participants. Six high school graduates between the ages of 18-24 and their parents participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Questions were asked about participants' perceptions of the employment journey and perceptions of services received through the Individualized Transition Plan. Four participants made their Individualized Education Plans, Individualized Transition Plans, and psychological reports available.
Four themes emerged from the data collection: impact of autism on employment, social skills training, disclosure and self-advocacy, and expectations of students and parents about teachers. Data implied that a majority of young adult participants did not feel their disability would affect employment, whereas most parents believed autism would negatively impact future employment. Participants did not correlate social skills training to successful employment. No participants had a full understanding of the importance of self-disclosure or clear understanding of workplace accommodations. Half of parent participants were pleased with how their school districts serve students with disabilities, while the other half felt services should be continued, regardless of cost. The data led me to make several implications and recommendations.
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Special education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Autism, Employment, Parents, Qualitative, Transition, Young Adults|
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