Most parents want their child to lead a productive and fulfilling life as they transition into adulthood and in our society that often means having a job. However, this can be a difficult achievement for most of the population that we work with. In fact, less than 10% of individuals with autism with an average IQ or above are employed full time. That is a scary number considering 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism.
I recently heard about an incredible program called Project Search in which individuals with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to participate in a school-to-work program. This is a one year program in which students work and learn solely at the workplace and learn skills such as workplace safety, communication in the workplace, interviewing skills and money management. The students also participate in internships and are able to work with vocational rehabilitation counselors to work towards job placement.
More information on Project search and the eligibility requirements can be found here. Colorado has Project Search opportunities at sites including the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood and at the Children’s Hospital in Aurora. More information about the program at the Children’s Hospital can be found here.