From U.S. News & World Report:
As children with autism are growing up and looking to the future, innovative programs are popping up around the country to help them move from high school to adult life.
The aim: give them the chance to go to work, go to college, or even start a business rather than collecting disability benefits and being limited to a sheltered workshop.
Some options include:
- “Supportive and Customized Employment,” in which school systems and state vocational rehabilitation programs work together to help teenagers move into the workforce while still in high school.
- “Employment First” programs which help shift the priorities of social service agencies so that the first step is placing people in a paid job in a regular workplace rather than collecting disability benefits.
- Resource ownership, in which job-training funds and Social Security work incentives are used to buy tools or equipment that a person with a disability will then use on the job.
- Small business ownership.
How 1 Autistic Young Man Runs a Business — U.S. News and World Report. A young man with autism and Down syndrome runs Poppin’ Joe’s Kettle Korn in Louisburg, Kan., with the help of his parents and five part-time employees.
(U.S. News & World Report photo)