Autism Speaks Community Service Grant Completed
Lean Out: Networking for young women with ASDs seeking employment
We have completed our program related to job seeking and maintaining employment with women ages 18 to 28 years. Eighteen women participated in the program, in two sessions. Session I took place in April of 2015 and Session II took place in September/October of 2015. The program targeted skills related to seeking employment, from the most basic skills to more advanced skills such as networking as a necessary skill for employment. Additionally we covered choosing the right working environment, learning about workplace culture, presenting appropriately for work, maintaining relationships in the work environment, and enjoying your work. We were very fortunate to work with Dr. Jane Thierfeld Brown, a professional with many years of experience working with young adults with ASD transitioning to college
We have learned some important facts about the women who participated in our program. Although the majority had post secondary school educations, other factors were obstacles to being an effective job candidate in the competitive job market. Some of these factors included severe depression, high levels of anxiety, and poor self esteem leading to low confidence in her ability to succeed. We also found that some candidates expectations about employability that did not match what is available in today's economic climate.
The curriculum for our program as well as the participant workbook will be online by the end of January, 2016.