One of ICare4Autism’s many pilot programs and initiatives is the Global Autism Workforce Initiative. People with autism face intense challenges when trying to find a job. Well, in today’s day and age, many people face challenges when trying to find a job. But it is particularly difficult and frustrating for someone with autism. ICare4Autism recognizes this, and is trying to find the best solution, creating a “best practices in workforce development” for people with autism and their families.
According to a recent study published byCarnegieMellonUniversity, theUniversityofPittsburgh, and theUniversityofMinnesota, one employment possibility for someone with autism may be baggage screening at an airport with TSA, Transportation Security Administration. If you’ve ever been to the airport, you know what the security process is like: take off your shoes, remove your belts and any metal you may be wearing, and put your belongings through the screener. A member of TSA looks at the x-ray of your belongings, to make sure there are no weapons. Well, this job can be tedious and tiresome for many, and eventually their skill to identify unwanted objects may decrease. The study found, however, that men with autism who were put to this job actually increased their skill over time.
According to senior author of the study and psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University Marlene Behrmann, “we were able to demonstrate statistically that the individuals with autism stayed more true to the task compared with people who became distracted more easily.”[i] The researchers believe this job may be a perfect fit for some people with autism for three possible reasons: they may have a higher ability for visual searches, they may not get as bored doing detail-oriented tasks, and they may be more anxious about the fear of not succeeding.
[i] “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” TSA may have the perfect job for autistic workers. 09 Oct 2013. Web. <http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/baggage1009roth11-706804/>