Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 487–500

Competitive Employment for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Early Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial

Authors

  • Paul H. Wehman
    • Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth University
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
    • Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, School of Education, VCU Autism Center for ExcellenceVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Jennifer McDonough
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
  • John Kregel
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
    • Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, School of EducationVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Valerie Brooke
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Alissa Molinelli
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Whitney Ham
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Carolyn W. Graham
    • Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth University
  • J. Erin Riehle
    • Division of Disability ServicesCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Holly T. Collins
    • Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Weston Thiss
    • St. Mary’s Hospital
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-1892-x

Cite this article as:
Wehman, P.H., Schall, C.M., McDonough, J. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2014) 44: 487. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1892-x

Abstract

For most youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), employment upon graduation from high school or college is elusive. Employment rates are reported in many studies to be very low despite many years of intensive special education services. This paper presented the preliminary results of a randomized clinical trial of Project SEARCH plus ASD Supports on the employment outcomes for youth with ASD between the ages of 18–21 years of age. This model provides very promising results in that the employment outcomes for youth in the treatment group were much higher in non-traditional jobs with higher than minimum wage incomes than for youth in the control condition. Specifically, 21 out of 24 (87.5 %) treatment group participants acquired employment while 1 of 16 (6.25 %) of control group participants acquired employment.

Keywords

AutismASDTransition to employmentApplied behavior analysisPositive behavior supportProject SEARCH

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013