Young Adults with Autism Find Hope for Their Futures

Individuals with Autism have faced difficult odds in securing employment in their adult lives. In the past, employers would overlook the talents and strengths of those with the disorder, and focus only on what they perceived as weaknesses. According to a study by the Pediatrics journal, only 55% of adults with ASD attained some type of employment within the six years after they finished high school. Only 35% attempted a college-level education. Although the statistics seem discouraging, many institutions are looking to turn these numbers around, and to provide opportunities for adults with the disorder once they enter adulthood.

For example, at the nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas, Autistic individuals are learning how to utilize modern technology to design games and apps. The institute was founded by Dan Selec, who wanted to provide new opportunities for individuals like his Autistic teenage son. With time, Selec was able to evolve the institute into a tech company where Autistic individuals could learn various skills, develop their talents, and potentially build the foundation for an incredible, life-long tech career.

(photo credit: northcountrypublicradio.org)

Currently, the nonPareil Institute has 135 students. Previous students have gone on to teach the ones who are currently learning there, proving just how knowledgeable, skillful and confident individuals can become with a clear focus and the right support. The staff programmers at nonPareil, also former students, have gone on to sell several apps and ebooks. Selec is determined to expand the institute beyond the reaches ofTexas, and to create specific criteria to meet the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. This can potentially lead to a great number of Autistic adults that are determined to enter several different career paths.

If young Autistic individuals have a great support system, and people who are willing to be patient and understanding with them, they truly are capable of accomplishing great things in their adult life.

The ICare4Autism International Conference will be discussing the Global Autism Workforce Initiative on June 30th in NYC. The Keynote Speaker will be Randy Lewis, former Executive Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics for Walgreens. During his career, Mr. Lewis was responsible for implementing an integrated workforce, where 40% of the distribution employees are disabled, including those with Autism disorders. To hear Mr. Lewis speak, please select tickets here.

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