Activity Employment in Autism: Reflections on the Literature and Steps for Moving Forward

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Abstract

Reflecting an address given at the Autism Challenges and Solutions International Conference in Moscow in April 2019, this paper reviews selected studies within the author’s program of research as well as selected literature addressing pathways to employment for adults with autism. A range of employment support programs are considered, representing promising approaches. Attention is given to environmental elements that appear to have a bearing on individual employment experience and outcomes. These elements point to a person in environment approach which is increasingly supported by emerging evidence. This approach is conveyed as the employment ecosystem, with constituent elements that include the individual (employee or potential employee), family, employer, co-workers, work setting, community services, and embedded labor, health and disability policy. These various components of the ecosystem offer relevance in terms of understanding employment options and experiences of autistic adults. Recommendations for advancing this field are offered.

General Information

Keywords: autism spectrum, autistic, employment, quality of life, ecosystem

Journal rubric: Expert opinion

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/autdd.2020180301

Funding. Funding is gratefully acknowledged from Autism Speaks, Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, and the Sinneave Family Foundation

For citation: Nicholas D. Activity Employment in Autism: Reflections on the Literature and Steps for Moving Forward. Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2020. Vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 5–11. DOI: 10.17759/autdd.2020180301.

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Information About the Authors

David Nicholas, PhD, professor, Professor of the Faculty of Social Work, Central and Northern Alberta Region, University of Calgary, Canada, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4480-322X, e-mail: nicholas@ucalgary.ca

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