BOOST-A: from research to practice
Young people on the autism spectrum have poorer post-school employment outcomes than their peers without autism. Less than one quarter of adolescents with autism are involved in transition planning; when they are involved, it is usually not in an active role. The Better OutcOmes and Successful Transitions for Autism (BOOST-A) was developed as an accessible and appropriate transition planning tool for young people on the autism spectrum, and the trusted adults in their lives who assist with them in planning for their working life.
This project aimed to:
- Share information about the BOOST-A to young people on the autism spectrum and the people who support them in planning their transition to employment when they leave school
- Provide training in multiple and accessible formats to potential BOOST-A users about evidence-based principles for successful transition planning, and how best to use the tool to commence and progress transition planning activities.
Two more objectives were added to the study to support the use of the BOOST-A in a non-research capacity by the wider community:
- Develop an autism-specific career interest exploration tool as an alternative to the Career Interest Test, for use in the interests section of the BOOST-A
- Develop written content for the myWAY Employability smart web platform - a joint collaboration between the Autism CRC and Curtin University funded through Telstra Foundation.
Nearly all attendees of the BOOST-A training workshops reported they had increased their knowledge and confidence to support an adolescent on the spectrum in their transition planning as a result of attending the workshops. In response to feedback, the Autism-Career Explorer (A-CE) was developed as an autism-specific tool for autistic individuals to consider their preferences for type of jobs across a wide range of categories.
- Marina Ciccarelli, Curtin University