Jobs for adults with autism - outlook grim without supports - Report

CALGARY, Sept. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in children. Adults with ASD have some of the poorest employment outcomes in comparison to others with disabilities. Most earn less than the national minimum hourly wage, endure extended periods of joblessness and frequently shuffle between positions. While data in Canada is limited, roughly 25 per cent of Americans living with ASD are employed and no more than six per cent are competitively employed.  Numbers in Canada could be expected to be similar. 

A report released at a press conference today by The School of Public Policy, and authors Carolyn Dudley, David B. Nicholas and Jennifer D. Zwicker, provides several policy recommendations to help governments identify appropriate policy options to not only improve employment outcomes but to enhance the current employment situation for those living with ASD.

Given what is currently known about employment for adults with ASD, the report gives several policy recommendations to improve employment outcomes.  They are:

  • Conduct more research that is specific to employment for adults with ASD – we still don't know enough
  • Increase training for social skills and behavior management – and make those available to adults
  • Even high IQ adults with ASD suffer from mental health issues that impact employability – more efforts are needed to make mental health resources available to adults with ASD
  • Increase opportunities for work experiences
  • Create incentives for businesses to hire workers with ASD
  • Families often create work opportunities for adults with ASD – the report offers novel solutions for governments to establish programs to support families and create jobs

The paper can be downloaded at

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information: Media Contact: Morten Paulsen, 403.220.2540,


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