One of the best highlights of today’s autism awareness initiatives is the growing number of people coming forward to say that autism is hardly a reason to reject a career or vocation.
Of course, there will still be plenty of challenges and it is still a sad fact that autistics rank the lowest in terms of employment rates among people with disabilities. Misinformation and misconceptions about the condition remain prevalent in workplace cultures.
The silver lining is that the greater culture is gradually transforming into one that wants to give autistics more opportunities.That’s why it’s important for parents and educators to already start planning ahead if they want to prepare an autistic child for their future. And while there are certainly a lot of hurdles to overcome, here are three key areas you can start with.
Autism is divided into three levels depending on severity, which in turn indicates how much they may need special supervision and company. Level 1 can function well enough with the support of regular therapy while Level 2-3 will likely require more support from their families.
And while it may seem tempting to assume that those on Level 3 are impossible to put in jobs, caregiving for them in their adulthood will still involve some form of transition-to-adulthood program. So, regardless of level, there is definitely a connection between how you care for your autistic children now, and the way they will find a career in the future.
It goes without saying that it’s important to improve the communication skills of those with ASD. (After all, there are plenty of programs for that already.) The next step is to use better communication as a means to really have that important conversation with the child about what they want to be.
Obviously, no matter what the disability, every child should have the opportunity to think and be aware they have the right to pursue a calling. They may even already know what that is based on the specific things they are often very focused on. But by really sitting down and talking this over, you both establish together that this is what they want to do when they grow up.
3. Core Skills
Naturally, one still has to consider precisely what kind of core skills an autistic has developed despite their disabilities. More importantly though, parents and educators should give their best to ensure these skills are nurtured as soon as they are identified and improved.
There are still times when parents see the obsessive, narrow focus of ASD and have the impulse to make them try something else in the hopes of ‘weakening the autism.’ This is really not a recommended approach. It is far better to encourage these children to leverage their strengths because these can very well define their calling.
Remember, we live in a very important time for autism advocacy. A lot of measures being made to assist them are relatively new and still require a lot of work. On the other hand, the drive towards neurodiversity and acceptance is growing strong. Take this chance to prepare children with ASD help start a path to their own career along with everyone else!
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