“I’m Destined to Ace This”: Work Experience Placement During High School for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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.
KeywordsAdolescents Autism Spectrum Disorder Work experience program Vocational Work Employment
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.
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.
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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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