Proposed program offers job training for young adults with autism

Hartford, Conn. — A proposal to start a vocational training program to prepare young adults with autism for employment and independent living has earned both praises and reservations among the citizens of Connecticut.

The proposal, which hopes to train and prepare 100 young adults on the autism spectrum for future employment and independent living, aims to address the rapidly growing number of individuals with autism who are still unemployed and unable to fend for themselves.

But the ambitious program does not come without difficulties. The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Developmental Services are required to report back their progress (and challenges) by July 2016, but Autism Services and Resources Connecticut Executive Director Lois Rosenwald believes more time is needed. She told:

“State programs take time to get up and running. We need the time to collect meaningful data on what works and what doesn’t.”

Carol Marcantonio, an occupational therapy assistant who was asked to testify in front of the human services panel Thursday said that she believes occupational therapy will also be a vital part of the training program. She told:

“You are not going to place the young adults in jobs unless you understand them.”

Although the debate about how and how long the program should be run is still ongoing, citizens of Connecticut are in agreement that the program is urgently needed— with concerns that one in 68 children in the country is affected by ASD, as reported by the CDC, and they are all rapidly growing into adulthood.

Source: Josh Kovner on the CTNOW website: Program Would Offer Job Training to 100 Young Adults With Autism