Here’s a recent story we wanted to share with you from USA Today. It’s about a small group of parents who wanted their teenage children to be able to have real jobs someday. Sitting around with nothing productive to do would be boring and frustrating for their kids, not to mention expensive. But they also knew the plain truth: It’s tough for someone with autism to get a job.
So, like an increasing number of parents with children on the autism spectrum, these parents hired them themselves. Their non-profit Extraordinary Ventures businesses, including one cleaning city buses and another making candles and other gifts, now employs 40 people with developmental disabilities in the Chapel Hill area.
Parent Lori Ireland recently told her story to a group of autism parents and advocates as part of a nationwide effort by the advocacy group Autism Speaks to inspire more parents to follow her lead. (The group has also developed a digital tool kit to help people with autism get and keep jobs.) Ireland and others will share their experience with parents in more cities this Fall, including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis and Scottsdale, Arizona.
USA Today reports that slightly more than half of young people with autism have ever worked for pay since leaving high school, according to a survey published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Roughly 85% of those who were least disabled had worked, compared with just 12% of those most severely disabled. To read more go to USA Today at:
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