People with autism face numerous challenges, not only as children, but as adults. While school can be tough in one's teenage years, so can going to college or finding a job once people with autism reach adulthood.
Many with autism find themselves unable to work for various reasons. A lot of the time it's simply being unable to find a job. In the tough economy, it can be hard for an average worker to secure employment, let alone one with autism.
A new study published in Pediatrics took a look at data from 2007 and 2008. Researchers found that about half of people with autism had no paid job experience two years after high school, as well as no college or technical education. While the situation improved as they got older, the same was true for 35 percent of people with autism seven years after high school. That number compares with 26 percent of mentally disabled adults.
One 21-year-old man with autism will graduate from high school next year, and his mother worries about his employment opportunities even though he has good mechanical skills. So far he's only found unpaid jobs and unpaid internships. Since he has trouble speaking and reading, he can make other people uncomfortable, his mother explains. She says his struggle keeps her up at night.
Clearly, she's not alone. About one in 88 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism. One special education policy specialist says that special training about social cues and employment while kids are still in school may ultimately make them more employable.
Source: USA Today, "1 in 3 autistic young adults lack jobs, education," May 14, 2012
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