Employment Options for Those with Autism - Alpha School

Employment Options for Those with Autism

ABA therapy in school

Job-seeking can be a frustrating process for anyone, but for those on the autism spectrum, it can be particularly confusing. In their Employment Tool Kit, the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks has some helpful advice for the job search process. We highly recommend you download the full tool kit.

1. Get Organized

Use a binder to save all of your employment-related information that you will collect. You can also create a folder on the computer for your online employment-related files.

2. Narrow Your Options

A good approach is to list your personal strengths and interests, and then search the job market to see what positions are available that match up most closely with those ideals.

  • List your personal strengths. Write down your skills and what you do best.
  • List your interests, what you like to do.
  • Then check the job market for available jobs that match your skills and interests. Create a list of jobs you may be interested in trying.

Some fields for individuals with ASD to consider include: 

  • STEM
  • Healthcare
  • Computer-Related
  • Skilled Crafts
  • Mechanics
  • Engineering
  • Food Service/Restaurant Management
  • Business
  • Clerical
  • Education and Childcare
  • Economics
A Vocational Rehabilitation counselor at your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation office can give a formal assessment of your skills and interests to help choose the direction of your job search. In addition to formal assessments, volunteering is a great way to learn about your interests and abilities. Even learning that you do not enjoy a particular type of work is information that will lead you to the right career path in the future.

There are several employment models for you to explore. Competitive employment is full-time or part-time work in a business that pays at least minimum wage and provides the same benefits for all employees. You are independent in your job and do not require employment supports. 

Supported employment can help you gain competitive employment in integrated work settings, and then provide ongoing support services such as job coaches and mentors to help you be successful. 

Self-Employment is also an option for some people. Research other companies that were started by people with disabilities to see what has worked. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has targeted programs dedicated to assist people with disabilities.

3. Get Support

Use a binder to save all of your employment-related information that you will collect. You can also create a folder on the computer for your online employment-related files.

Each state has a Vocational Rehabilitation agency that provides employment services to people with disabilities (including autism). Speak with a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor about the services they offer. Support may include help with writing a resume, finding supported employment, and job coaching. VR agencies can also develop an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). A variety of employment-related services can be provided under an IPE, including training, counseling, job placement, and supported employment.
People on the autism spectrum have unique strengths and abilities that employers don’t always recognize or understand. But with some organization, a positive attitude, and the support of state agencies that are there to help, anyone with autism can find a job that’s right for them.

john gonzalez supervisor of instruction Alpha School

Alpha School an private special education school in New Jersey

Our Mission at The Alpha School is to help all of our special needs students with the learning, social, language, and behavioral support they deserve. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student to becoming the best they can while providing a safe and nurturing educational environment.

We would be more than happy to discuss your child’s specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.370.1150, or request a tour of Alpha School of Jackson, NJ located just minutes off of Route 9 and Route 195 in Ocean County.

— John Gonzalez, Principal-Alpha School, Jackson, NJ

About RKS Associates

At all the RKS Schools we pride ourselves in discovery the hidden treasures of all of our students. Our academic and support services are appropriately customized for a student unique and diverse needs so that they can reach their full potential.

Alpha School is part of special needs network of schools located in Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean County New Jersey. Since 1980 the RKS Associates schools have been leaders in helping special needs helping students with various disabilities including autism, Down's syndrome, communication, learning, social, behavioral and emotional disabilities. The range of services RKS schools provide is academic instruction and speech, occupational and physical therapies. In addition to Life Skills, Technology, and a full complement of Support Services.

network of special ed schools in NJ