People living on the Autism Spectrum often share common behaviors and qualities. But no individual is ever the same. So, the road to independence and employment is never the same either.
Our approach begins with getting to know the individual and assessing their skills, interests, and challenges.
Assessing the Base Line of Functioning
In psychology we call this initial step “assessing the base line of functioning”. This is where we identify the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. We find out where we’ll need to concentrate most of our efforts to help them be successful.
There’s a variety of different questions we’re trying to answer during this phase.
- Has the individual been diagnosed with Autism?
- How are their personal skills?
- Can they write a resume?
During this initial phase we want to know “What are the main things you need to get and maintain a job?” Maybe they happen to be great at writing their resume, but have weak interview skills. So, that tells us where we need to focus our time and effort.
Once we identify the weak points we can develop a plan to strengthen those points, and build on the talents and skills they already have.
Engaging With Interests
During the assessment phase we try to identify any unique skills and strengths to help orient the training and treatment plan on the individual. But, we also want to know about any unique interests. With Autism, we see a beautifully diverse range of nuanced and often unorthodox interests among our clients. The clients are also typically very dedicated to these interests, however simple or unorthodox they may seem to others.
At A Complete 180 we take each person’s interests into account, and attempt to incorporate those in the training and job placement process.
Job and Employment Skills Training
The job and skills training program varies by individual, depending on their base line of functioning. But, most individuals will be triaged through training in the following areas:
- Resume building
- Interview preparation
- Social skills training
It’s during this process where we address weak points and develop the necessary skills to gain and maintain employment.
Obviously, employment is about more than just getting a job. There’s also personal skills, and responsibility that factor into actually maintaining a job. This is something providers often neglect to address. At A Complete 180 we look beyond gaining employment, to give our clients the skills to maintain employment.
We help our clients gain the necessary employment skills through ongoing workshops targeting different job tasks, activities, and social situations that may occur in a workplace. By exposing individuals to these scenarios they become familiar with the skills and social expectations, which may have seemed foreign and overwhelming to them at first.
Job and Internship Placement
The next step after training is to place the individual in an actual work environment. Typically, this will start out as an internship. The placement largely depends on the individuals base line of functioning, and will challenge them to grow. For one person they might be placed in an accounting or billing position. Another individual might be assigned a position shredding documents, or stocking shelves. The placement depends on their level of functioning.
After placement, we continue to work with both the individual and the employer to help ensure the placement is a success. We stay highly connected with the employer to address any issues or concerns that may arise after placement, and we work with the individual to work through their challenges. We want to make sure the placements are mutually beneficial.
People often don’t realize that there’s a broad spectrum of jobs that people with Autism are capable of. Just like for the rest of us, we just have to find them something that fits. Everyone should have a career where they love what they’re doing, and that’s what we strive to find for our clients.
How to Get Started
Are you interested in learning more about A Complete 180? Please reach out to us online, or call us at (206) 466-5649.
If you’ve tried other employment providers before without success, we think we can help. Developing the skills for independent living and employment isn’t necessarily simple for those on the spectrum. But, with the right tools and support, we’ve helped numerous individuals to maintain employment and develop independence.