Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 487–500 | Cite as

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

  • Paul H. Wehman
  • Carol M. Schall
  • Jennifer McDonough
  • John Kregel
  • Valerie Brooke
  • Alissa Molinelli
  • Whitney Ham
  • Carolyn W. Graham
  • J. Erin Riehle
  • Holly T. Collins
  • Weston Thiss
Original Paper

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

Autism ASD Transition to employment Applied behavior analysis Positive behavior support Project SEARCH 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul H. Wehman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carol M. Schall
    • 2
    • 5
  • Jennifer McDonough
    • 2
  • John Kregel
    • 2
    • 6
  • Valerie Brooke
    • 2
  • Alissa Molinelli
    • 2
  • Whitney Ham
    • 2
  • Carolyn W. Graham
    • 1
  • J. Erin Riehle
    • 4
  • Holly T. Collins
    • 2
  • Weston Thiss
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Research and Training CenterVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.St. Mary’s HospitalRichmondUSA
  4. 4.Division of Disability ServicesCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  5. 5.Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, School of Education, VCU Autism Center for ExcellenceVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  6. 6.Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, School of EducationVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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