Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
SEDL’s VR Autism project addressed the dual challenge of the increasing numbers of Americans diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the extremely low employment rates among persons with disabilities. Through research and dissemination activities, this project aimed to improve vocational rehabilitation and transitional services to people with ASD.
Wildwood Employment Services for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
Meet Glenn. He has a diagnosis on the autism spectrum and is a consumer of the Wildwood Programs' Employment Services. Nearing graduation from high school, Glenn began participating in vocational trials with different businesses. He was especially successful as a dishwasher in a family-owned restaurant and was offered a part-time position. Glenn really liked the staff, as they did him. But after a few years, a change in management led to a more chaotic workplace and anxiety for Glenn. With intensive on-the-job training from Wildwood, along with support from his residential manager, aunt, and a family friend, Glenn was able to secure a job at Panera Bread. The support he received enabled him to make the transition with few difficulties. Mike, the general manager at Panera, provides Glenn with clear directions, compliments when due, and corrective instruction as warranted. The sense of achievement and pride is clear in the way Glenn does his job.
Wildwood is one of several exemplary employment programs for individuals on the autism spectrum that SEDL has identified through the VR Autism project. Read more