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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 3089–3101 | Cite as

“I’m Destined to Ace This”: Work Experience Placement During High School for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Elinda Ai Lim LeeEmail author
  • Melissa H. Black
  • Tele Tan
  • Torbjorn Falkmer
  • Sonya Girdler
OriginalPaper

Abstract

As postsecondary outcomes of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are poor, there is a need for programs that aim to improve employment and education outcomes. This study employed a grounded theory approach to explore the key factors contributing to successful work placement experience and the perceived benefits of these placements from the perspective of adolescents with ASD (n = 5), their parents (n = 6) and employers (n = 6). Key factors contributing to success include preparing for the workplace, harnessing strengths and interests and developing work related skills, while the benefits include insight into the workplace, recognising and realising potential, working as a team and the pathway ahead. The findings articulate a framework which could underpin future transition interventions for adolescents with ASD.

Keywords

Adolescents Autism Spectrum Disorder Work experience program Vocational Work Employment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded by the Ian Potter Foundation (Grant No. 20170356), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and Bennelong Foundation. The authors were particularly grateful to the study participants and the support from Autism Association of Western Australia and Therapy Focus in Western Australia for the participants with ASD and host organisations.

Author Contributions

EALL, TT and SG designed the study. Data collection was undertaken by EALL. Data analysis and interpretation was led by EALL and was undertaken by EALL, MHB and SG. EALL wrote the manuscript with SG and MHB, with critical input from TT and TF.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health SciencesCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Curtin Autism Research GroupCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Civil and Mechanical EngineeringCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Pain and Rehabilitation Centre, Faculty of Health SciencesLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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