Evaluation of innovative interest-based post-school transition program for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published November 2017
Abstract
After leaving school, young people with autism spectrum disorder often struggle with social, educational and employment participation. A post-school transition programme underpinned by individualised case management, where mentees are guided to complete self-selected projects by mentors with multimedia skills, was evaluated using a qualitative approach. The programme’s impact on mentees’ social participation, emotional well-being, project skills and awareness of and transition to post-school options was examined. Eleven mentees (17–21 years), 12 family members and 7 mentors participated in semi-structured interviews. Mentors completed fortnightly records. Findings included positive impacts on mentees’ motivation and enjoyment, social participation, emotional well-being and skill development; and an appreciation of the programme flexibility and the high-quality mentor–mentee relationships. Some mentees developed their awareness of future options, while others struggled to articulate their goals. Two of 11 mentees transitioned to further education. Overall, the programme appeared to fulfil a critical need for nurturing, post-school transition programmes.
Citation
Ashburner, J., Bobir, N. & van Dooren, K. (2017). Evaluation of innovative interest-based post-school transition program for young people with autism. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 65(3), 262-285. doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2017.1403012

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