Essays on Helping Individuals with Autism Find Successful Employment Research Proposal

Introduction Autism is a disorder of the brain. Autistic people find it difficult to conceptualise the world around them. It is difficult for them to interact with other people, and for this reason, it may be difficult for them to find employment. They find problems in understanding other individuals and what they are feeling. This implies that in the workplace autistic people will be very difficult to work with, especially if the work involves sharing ideas. The problem is coupled by the fact that autistic people may be extra sensitive to their surroundings; for instance sounds may seem louder to them, smells may be stronger, and the people may not like to be close to others (Smith, Belcher & Juhrs, 1995; Zager, 2005). To avoid this trouble, many employers usually shun them, which is unethical. Purpose of research This study is aimed at looking for ways through which people with autism can be helped to find successful employment. According to the National Audit Office (2009), regular employment can bring psychological and social benefits to people with autism, including increased self-esteem and better social integration. To facilitate this, the study will identify the problems autistic people find in obtaining employment and how they can be resolved. Research project Research studies have shown that people with autism may access a wide range of public services, but only 15 percent of adults with autism in the United Kingdom are in full-time employment (National Audit Office, 2009, National Autistic Society (NAS), 2010). However, the data available on outcomes and contacts with services for adults with autism is limited (Taylor et al, 2008; Currie et al, 2010). In addition, specialised service provision for adults with autism, especially those with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism, is currently not readily available. Paxton and Estay (2007) note that people with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism have many qualities to offer employers; such as being punctual, detail oriented, and passion for routine and repetitive work, but these are often ignored. In the United Kingdom, two specialised services have been developed to help people with autism gain employment: (1) employment support, which includes job coaching and preparation designed to meet the needs of the people with autism, and (2) targeted multidisciplinary social and healthcare support for people with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome. The intended study will build on the two services to come up with more ways to help autistic people find successful employment. Research questions 1. What reasons do employers give for not employing people with autism? 2. What are autistic people’s attitudes towards employment? 3. How do employees working with autistic people perceive them? 4. What kind of policies are presently in place to help people with autism find successful employment? 5. What are the specialised services that people with autism need to help them survive comfortably in the workplace? Training and preparation Training and preparation will begin by contacting the NAS to avail current information on the services provided to people with autism in effort to help them gain employment. The researcher will also contact the National Audit Office to understand the gaps in the area. Preparation will also involve consulting other literature and organisations that deal with people with autism to understand the current needs and how the current problems can be resolved to ensure that autistic people can effectively work as their normal counterparts. References Blades, M. (2000). “Autism: An interesting dietary case history.” Nutrition & Food Science, 30(3): 137-139. Currie, L., Devlin, F., Emden, J. & Graves, K. (2010). “Undergraduate search strategies and evaluation criteria: Searching for credible sources.” New Library World, 111(3/4): 113-124 National Audit Office (2009). Supporting People with Autism through Adulthood. London: The Stationery Office, 2009 Paxton, K. & Estay, I. A. (2007). Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Manual. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Authors Smith, M. D., Belcher, R. G. & Juhrs, P. D. (1995). A Guide to Successful Employment for Individuals with Autism (2nd edition). New York: P.H. Brookes. Taylor, M.J., Baskett, M. Duffy, S. Wren, C. (2008). “Teaching HE students with emotional and behavioural difficulties.” Education & Training, 50(3): 231-243. The National Autistic Society (2010). Retrieved 21 September, 2010, from http://www.autism.org.uk/ Zager, D. B. (2005) Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification, Education, and Treatment (3rd edition) New York: Routledge.

References

Blades, M. (2000). “Autism: An interesting dietary case history.” Nutrition & Food Science, 30(3): 137-139.

Currie, L., Devlin, F., Emden, J. & Graves, K. (2010). “Undergraduate search strategies and evaluation criteria: Searching for credible sources.” New Library World, 111(3/4): 113-124

National Audit Office (2009). Supporting People with Autism through Adulthood. London: The Stationery Office, 2009

Paxton, K. & Estay, I. A. (2007). Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Manual. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Authors

Smith, M. D., Belcher, R. G. & Juhrs, P. D. (1995). A Guide to Successful Employment for Individuals with Autism (2nd edition). New York: P.H. Brookes.

Taylor, M.J., Baskett, M. Duffy, S. Wren, C. (2008). “Teaching HE students with emotional and behavioral difficulties.” Education & Training, 50(3): 231-243.

The National Autistic Society (2010). Retrieved 21 September 2010, from http://www.autism.org.uk/

Zager, D. B. (2005) Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification, Education, and Treatment (3rd edition) New York: Routledge.