Postsecondary Education and Employment for Youth With Autism: Preliminary Results From a Customized Transition Program
autism, transition, postsecondary education, customized employment, inclusion
This primary objective of this article, published in Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education/Special Issue on Emerging Disabilities,is to provide an overview of a customized transition program, The Learning Academy (TLA), for students with autism.
Autism spectrum disorders encompass a group of neurodevelopmental disorders whose defining features include deficits in social communication across multiple contexts (American Psychological Association, 2011). The prevalence of autism has been increasing at an alarming rate stemming from changes in diagnostic criteria, genetic risk factors, and growing awareness of the condition.
This primary objective of this article is to provide an overview of a customized transition program, The Learning Academy (TLA), for students with autism.
Pretest/posttest survey tool.
Fifty-eight percent (n=15) of respondents reported employment after attending TLA. Of these individuals, 80% (n=12) report they are currently working. Data from a prior survey year captured information from a larger percentage of TLA graduates (85% response rate; n=51) with a total of 63% (n=32) reporting that they had obtained competitive or self-employment.
Preliminary evidence indicates that the TLA program is effective in improving postsecondary education and employment rates in graduates. Implications for rehabilitation counseling research, policy, and education are presented.
Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education Vol 33 Issue 1, DOI:10.1891/2168-66188.8.131.52