Transition to work: Perspectives from the autism spectrum

Published March 2017


To improve employment outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorder, it is necessary to identify factors associated with successful transition to work from the perspectives of the individual and from those who work with or support them. This study involved focus groups with adults with autism spectrum disorder ( n = 9) participating in a 3-year employment and training programme, as well as focus groups with family members ( n = 6), support staff ( n = 7) and co-workers ( n = 6). The aim was to gain better understanding of the experience of transition to work, barriers and also the factors that promote workplace success. Main themes included factors that facilitated success at work ( Enablers), barriers to success ( Challenges) and programme outcomes ( Outcomes). Organisation support, advice from co-workers, supportive leadership, allowance of environmental modifications and presence of a consultant were identified as enablers that most facilitated success at work. Challenges included task-related difficulties, individual factors, social difficulties and distractibility, not managing work-related stress, and being perceived to be too frank. Outcomes were rated as positive and encompassed work-related outcomes, as well as outcomes related to sense of purpose, achieving personal independence and improvements in social relationships, both with work colleagues and within families.
Hedley, D., Cai, R., Uljarević, M., Wilmot, M., Spoor, J., Richdale, A.L., Dissanayake, C. (2017). Transition to work: Perspectives from the autism spectrum. Autism. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1177/1362361316687697.

Please note: some publications may only be accessible to registered users.