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Autism in the Workplace

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  1. Autism in the Workplace Kansas Center For Autism Research and Training

  2. History of Autism Changes in Conceptualization Biological  Environmental Developmental  Psychiatric Disorder Spectrum  Specific Disorder Early  Late Detection

  3. Autism: Prevalence • Previously rare - 1970 4/10,000 • Now – 2009 CDC Study 1/110 Children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  4. Autism: Components of Cause Abnormalities in Genetic Code for Brain Development Abnormal Mechanisms of Brain Development Structural and Functional Abnormalities of Brain Cognitive Abnormalities Behavioral Syndrome

  5. Autism is a Spectrum Autism • Usually low-functioning, nearly half are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities Aspergers Syndrome • Impaired social skills, often physically awkward, no substantial delay in language Pervasive Developmental Disorders • Meets most criteria, but not easily classified as another disorder

  6. Everyday Autism Socialization and Communication Impaired ability to use and/or understand facial expressions and gestures. Common problem - Understanding how to read and express emotions: Anger, Happiness, Frustration, Encouragement, Fear Person with Autism has difficulty communicating these to family, teachers, co-workers, friends, and people in the community.

  7. Everyday Autism Communication Pragmatics of Language Understanding non-literal use of language (idioms), social hierarchies and non-verbal social communication

  8. Everyday Autism Communication What can appear to be lack of feeling or social/emotional reciprocity. When communication is not understood, can manifest as: Use of specific behaviors in order to communicate Using repetitive words and phrases

  9. Everyday Autism Communication What works to improve communication? Communication system Use visual schedules, assistive technology or other creative ways to assist the person to communicate within their environment Establishment of a routine Assist the person to anticipate what their day will look like, anticipate changes

  10. Autism and Families Impact on Families • Lack of qualified day care providers • Sibling needs and supports • Tolerance of Transitions • Daily (to school in morning) • Life (moving, divorce)

  11. Autism and Families Impact on Families Additional stress managing support needs Long-term stress of coping with financial and life planning pressures Understanding of Autism by community, including employers, generic community resources and community responders

  12. Autism and Families Concerns for Families Early Intervention: • early diagnosis • paying for early intervention • lack of insurance coverage Education: • social skills • Behavior • adapting curriculum • Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act

  13. Autism and Families Concerns for Families Behavior planning • assistance for families and schools • system capacity • Juvenile Justice Transition to adulthood • waiting lists for services • lack of employment opportunities • long-term care supports

  14. Autism in the Workplace Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) states: • Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. • Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring • equality of opportunity • full participation • independent living • economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities

  15. Autism in the Workplace Benefits of employing people with disabilities: • Creating a workplace that supports people with disabilities creates a more supportive workplace for all employees • Employing people with disabilities can make economic sense

  16. Autism in the Workplace Benefits of employing people with disabilities: • Through Supported Employment job coaches can train qualified people with disabilities on job duties • Through techniques such as Job Carving specialized jobs can be developed tailored to an individual’s strengths • In hard economic times, there may be specialized jobs that need to be done, but “pile up” due to having fewer employees

  17. Autism in the Workplace What Should Be Assessed? • Interests and strengths (often assessed through person-centered planning) • Specific work skills • Learning style  • Communication skills and required supports, including need for augmentative or alternative communication (AAC)

  18. Autism in the Workplace What should be assessed? • Social interaction and behavior and effective supports • Sensory issues—need for certain sensory inputs to relax or need to avoid certain stimuli • Need for structure and predictability and effective supports for the individual • The physical and social environment of a potential workplace

  19. Autism in the Workplace Who Can Help? • The individual with ASD • Family members or friends who know the person well • Former teachers • Residential support staff • Occupational Therapists (OT) and Physical Therapists (PT), especially regarding motor and sensory considerations • Potential employers or co-workers

  20. Autism in the Workplace Work Skills of Some People with ASD: • Honesty • Incredible memory • Loyalty • Intense individual interests • Detail-oriented

  21. Autism in the Workplace Temple Grandin

  22. Autism in the Workplace

  23. A Virtual Center… Kansas Center For Autism Research and Training Center for Child Health and Development Clinics: 8 Autism Clinics, 200 children a year Screening, Diagnostics, Parent Support Behavioral Interventions Research Sites: Juniper Gardens Children’s Project KU Campuses KU Medical Center Training Sites: Edwards Campus KU Campuses Academic Departments

  24. K-CART Autism Resource Center Located in room 270 in Regnier Hall at KU Edwards Campus Books/DVDs/materials to check out Information on accessing services and supports

  25. Spring WorkshopsKansas Center For Autism Research and Training Friday, April 9th Phil Strain - University of Colorado Early Intervention Programs for Young Children with Autism Thursday, May 6th Howard Green and Jennifer McDonald - Virginia Commonwealth University Job Coaching Strategies for Employing Persons with Autism Tuesday, June 1st Jeri Kendle, Business Partnerships for Employing Persons with Autism - Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center Workshops are from 8:30am – 4:00pm at KU Edwards Campus Cost: $60 per person, lunch provided.

  26. Border Challenge For Autism April 14th, 2010 6-9:30pmBoulevard Brewery2501 Southwest BoulevardKansas City, MO 64108 Tickets $35

  27. Contact Information Website: Contact: Sean Swindler Director of Community Program Development 913-897-8471

  28. Autism in the WorkplaceKansas Center For Autism Research and Training Questions