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Teens with Autism Defy Statistics and Pursue Career Dreams

Posted by Brian Spence on May 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

AutismUnemployment rates for young people on the autism spectrum are shockingly high. A 2015 study by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute found that two-thirds of autistic youth were neither employed nor pursuing post-secondary education in the first two years after high school. With a 42 percent unemployment rate, autistic adults in their mid-twenties fared little better.

These two autistic teens have decided to pursue their career dreams and avoid becoming part of these dismal statistics.

Andrew Roberts, a 15-year-old autistic resident of Massachusetts, is making his dream of becoming a sportscaster a reality. Autistic people often have obsessions, which are typically seen as a problem. With his family's encouragement, Roberts is using his obsessions with writing and sports to realize his career dreams. The up and coming sports journalist has already covered the Special Olympics in Seattle and completed a summer internship at the Boston Herald. He also maintains a sports blog and writes for his high school newspaper. Roberts wants to continue building his journalism career with future internships.

A lifelong fascination with technology inspired autistic 19-year-old Benjamin Prud' homme to pursue a career as a digital media producer. He's enrolled in an internship program run by Tech Kids Unlimited, a nonprofit in Brooklyn. The program is designed to provide technical and nontechnical work skills to teens with autism or other challenges. In addition to working on projects for real clients, Prud' homme and his colleagues won first prize in a mobile app contest for an app they designed. After completing his internship, Prud' homme is looking forward to his first year as a student at Vassar College.

If you have experience caring for people with developmental disabilities, contact us to discuss job opportunities. Employers can also contact us for assistance in filling openings.

If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health and Education sections of our blog.


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