Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Wehman, P., Schall, C. McDonough, J. Molinelli, A. Riehle, E. Ham, W. & Thiss, W.R. (2012). Project SEARCH for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Increasing competitive employment on transition from high school.. Journal of positive behavior interventions, 15 (3), 144-155.
Title:  Project SEARCH for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Increasing competitive employment on transition from high school.
Authors:  Wehman, P., Schall, C. McDonough, J. Molinelli, A. Riehle, E. Ham, W. & Thiss, W.R.
Year:  2012
Journal/Publication:  Journal of positive behavior interventions
Publisher:  Sage Publications
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300712459760
Full text:  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1098300712459760    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported

Structured abstract:

Background:  The article described the program Project SEARCH, a model transition program for youth with disabilities, and how it was used to help youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) gain competitive employment. The article describes the major components of Project SEARCH, two case studies and outcomes.
Purpose:  To discuss the critical components of Project SEARCH: employment goals, internship model and collaboration and how the model of the project contributes to the 78.3% success rate of students with varying disabilities to gaining competitive employment.
Study sample:  Two case studies were used in this article, procured through randomized clinical trial. Both were students in special education programs in Virginia. Case participant #1 was an African American 19 year old man with ASD. Case participant #2 was a Caucasian 20 year old man with ASD and scoliosis.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected from the two case study participants on demographic information and performance of each during their Project SEARCH internship was tracked on a rubric of: 1. Performance of job skills 2. Overall production rate 3. Accuracy 4. Communication 5. Interaction with coworkers 6. Appearance 7. Safety. Each intern was also evaluated at three-four point in the duration of their internship and rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale.
Findings:  Through the experiences gained in Project SEARCH, Case participant #1 gained employment and worked 20 hours a week in competitive employment. Case participant #2 also gained employment and worked 20 hours a week in competitive employment.
Conclusions:  Individuals with ASD can successfully transition to meaningful competitive employment post high-school. Project SEARCH has proved to be an effective school-to-work transition model for the two individuals outlined in the case studies in this article. Future research is suggested to further expand this study and provide more evidence of vocational models to support youth with ASD at work.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Populations served:  Transition-age youth (14 - 24)
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition