Finding a job can be challenging, but when you have autism, the process can feel overwhelming. It can help to break it down into simple steps.
One great resource for job seekers with autism spectrum disorders, and their parents or other caregivers, is Hire Autism, a project led and run by the Organization for Autism Research (OAR).
As the experts on Hire Autism recommend, one of the first steps that anybody with autism needs to do is to understand the different kinds of employment for persons with disabilities. Hire Autism break them down into the following job types:
1. Competitive Employment – A full or part time job with market wages and responsibilities.
2. Supported Employment – Individuals with a disability work in Competitive Employment jobs alongside coworkers, but receive ongoing support services while on the job.
3. Customized Employment – Creating a job or work for an individual with a disability either by modifying an existing job.
4. Secured/Segregated Employment – Individuals with disabilities work in a self-contained unit and are not integrated with workers without disabilities.
5. Self-Employment – Starting and running your own company so that you work for yourself.
Once you’ve evaluated these options, you can determine the next steps for your job search. If Supported, Customized, Secured, or Self Employment seem to be the best fit, you may want to talk to your care team about next steps.
If Competitive Employment is right for you, then you’ll follow a standard process to plan your job search. But you’ll find plenty of targeted advice about how people with autism can succeed each step of the way on the Hire Autism Blog. Also see their page on Job Seeker Resources for people with autism.