The transition into adulthood can be an overwhelming time for young adults and their families. For young adults with autism, it can be a particularly challenging time as they age out of many programs and services that supported them during their adolescence and education. With that said, The Arc Westchester prides itself on providing innovative programs to support individuals with autism during these transitions.
The road to employment for individuals with autism
For individuals with high functioning autism, employment is oftentimes a realistic and attainable goal. With the right supports, individuals can discover their interests/passions and build skills that will equip them to succeed in the workplace, whether that is an office setting, retail store or other opportunity.
While Autism Speaks reports that nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job, transition programs such as Project SEARCH Autism Enhancement are designed to shift that trend. By building the job and social skills necessary to become contributing members of companies’ teams, transition programs help set up adults with autism to succeed.
The Arc Westchester also offers a Transition Prep program for individuals who are within three years of high school graduation. This week-long summer programs give high school students with autism the opportunity to start planning for their future while building relationships with their peers.
With instances of autism in adults on the rise – roughly half a million individuals with autism will transition into adulthood between 2018 and 2028, according to Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – offering access to evidence-based transition programs is critical for helping these individuals thrive as fully contributing members of their communities.