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Autism Wessex
 
Parent / Family / Carer

Guide to employment for your family member


We hope these pages help you to find the information you are looking for. If you would like to speak with an adviser from our Information and Advice service please do not hesitate to call us on 01305 213135. Alternatively please contact us through the website.

If you have a child with autism you might want to start thinking about and preparing for employment early as your child may need extra help to think about career options and to develop the skills needed to gain and keep employment.

It is important to remember the job market is particularly tough for everyone at the moment and young people in particular can find it hard to get invited to interviews and to secure employment.  You might need to help prepare your child for the realities of looking for work as this could involve lots of applications.  Try to teach your child to focus on what they can do to help them to find work and to try not to take rejections personally.

You might want to consider:

  • Does your child need coaching in social skills for the workplace (such as how you speak with your boss or customers might differ from how you would speak with your friends)? 
  • Does your child need help to think about different types of jobs?
  • Does your child need help to learn skills like time-keeping or using public transport?

At home you could think about ways to build skills that would be needed in the workplace or when looking for work. You could:

  • try role playing interactions or mock interviews
  • assist your child to research different jobs and help them to identify what they are good at and what they enjoy
  • look into part time jobs, voluntary work or work experience placements as ways to get experience, build skills and to try out different work settings


Schools and Colleges

If your child is still in education, there might be support available at their school or college to help with some of these things.  If your child has a statement of educational needs, employment should be discussed as part of the transitions planning process that begins in the Year 9 annual review.  There is a lot a parent or carer can do to help with any transition.  Practical strategies and plans can be found at:

National Autistic Society Transitions Planning

Autism Education Trust Transitions Toolkit

Universities

Each university will have careers services that can help with all aspects of preparing for employment including doing mock interviews with feedback. It is a good idea for students to get in contact with their careers service when they begin their course rather than towards the end of their course.

Careers Advice

The National Careers Service have lots of useful information for young people aged 13-18 as well as adults.  They have an extensive list of job profiles giving information about the skills, qualifications and attributes a person needs for a particular job.  Also help with CV's, job applications and interviews.  They can put you in contact with local advisers who can help young people through the process of transition. 

National careers Service

Volunteering

Volunteering can be a good way to gain experience and skills in different work setting as well as a getting a reference. Many voluntary placements will give additional training and help people gain qualifications. Most areas have a volunteer bureau, but you can also search for local opportunities at:
Do–it  

Ivo.org

V Inspired (Volunteering for young people)  

For more information see our section on employment for adults with autism.

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