This guide provides helpful tips and suggestions for teens and young adults with autism as they prepare for the transition into the workforce.
As you think about, and plan for, a career after high school, consider taking these steps:
- Make a list of your interests and what you may want to do for a career after high school.
- Talk with you school, parents or other family members, and/or speak with support staff about the list you have created. They may be able to help you think of new ideas.
- Talk with your school counselor or transition coordinator about what education or training you will need in order to building the skills you will need for the career you want.
- Some ideas may be: add job readiness goals to the IEP, set up mock interviews, learn how to complete applications online and on paper, etc.
- If the career you have chosen requires more training after high school, visit at least three schools that would fulfill those requirements and to see for yourself what it would be like to go to each school.
- If you select a vocational or college program, meet with your school’s transition coordinator to make sure you are taking the right classes for your goals.
- Understand the type of workplace you might want to work in, and identify the things that might make the career you have chosen a good fit for you, or more challenging for you. For example, if the loud sounds of machinery bother you, a job as an auto-mechanic may not be a good career choice for you.
- Ask your school for help with on-the-job training, job exploration, and/or part-time employment in your areas of interest. Your school can help you get this experience during school and the summer.
- Sign up to volunteer and job shadow with an organization within your chosen career during school and/ or summer months. This can help you decide if it really is what you want to do, or if you should choose a different career path.
- To get ready for a job, practice filling out job applications, answering questions an employer might ask you in an interview, and talking with new people
- Keep a record of names and contact information of people who you can use as references for jobs (e.g., teachers/professors, volunteer or employment supervisors, etc.).
- Understand rights around self-disclosure and consider what accommodations, if any, you will need. Learn more from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) website.
- Connect with your local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Early Reach representative to learn more about what OVR can help you with after high school. Many schools work with a specific OVR counselor and can help you get in touch with them. You can also find your local OVR office by visiting The Department of Labor and Industry website.
- Contact the Bureau of Autism Services to learn more about their adult autism programs and be placed on the interest list.
- For more information check out the ASERT Transition Resources Information Sheet.
- To explore more options visit: