Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Ham, W., McDonough, J., Molinelli, A., Schall, C., & Wehman, P. (2014). Employment supports for young adults with autism spectrum disorder: Two case studies. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 40 (2), 117-124.
Title:  Employment supports for young adults with autism spectrum disorder: Two case studies
Authors:  Ham, W., McDonough, J., Molinelli, A., Schall, C., & Wehman, P.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Case history review

Structured abstract:

Background:  Many young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face trouble transitioning from school to employment. Project SEARCH and ASD Supports have helped young adults with ASD transition successfully to employment. This paper presents two cases of successful transition through those programs.
Purpose:  The purpose of this article is to present two cases of young adults with ASD and describe the supports they received through project SEARCH.
Setting:  The setting included businesses where the two young adults worked.
Study sample:  The sample included two young adults with ASD; one female and one male.
Intervention:  The interventions were various types of supports that the individuals received on the job.
Control or comparison condition:  There was not control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  The case histories reviewed described the various types of supports the young adults used at work.
Findings:  Kristin worked in a Mother Infant Unit of a hospital and despite being able to complete her job tasks had many struggles. During her second month of work she would refuse to work, return from breaks late, and throw things across the room when she became upset. Kristin’s behavior resulted in her being at risk of termination from her position. Through a Positive Behavior Support plan that was a collaboration of her job coach, supervisor, co-workers, and family she was able to become a productive employee. Darnell is a 23 year old with ASD and works as a pharmacy assistant in a hospital. He is a valuable asset to his unit but has his struggles. He has refused to follow instructions, thrown medications on the floor, and fist pumped. Through a Positive Behavior Support plan he was able to cut down on the undesired behavior and continues to be successful in his position.
Conclusions:  These cases demonstrate the positive impact of supported employment for individuals with ASD.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)
Interventions:  Accommodations
On-the-job training and support
Supported employment
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition