A Systematic Review of Vocational Interventions for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Pediatrics | The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics 


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are approaching adolescence and young adulthood; interventions to assist these individuals with vocational skills are not well understood. This study systematically reviewed evidence regarding vocational interventions for individuals with ASD between the ages of 13 and 30 years.


Autism Spectrum Navigators

Support program for Bellevue College students.

Our mission is to guide program students (the AS Navigators) toward successful academic outcomes while assisting them in gaining skills in executive functioning, self-regulation, social interaction and self-advocacy.

The AS Navigators program helps students discover their personal strengths and find ways to support their areas of difficulty so that they can lead personally fulfilling lives. The program is designed to increase accessibility to areas of college life and beyond, including academics, working with others, socializing, and being in the community. We celebrate the unique personality of each of our students, and respect their right to make individual choices.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ASNavigators
Location: Bellevue, WA

College Internship Program

The College Internship Program provides individualized, post-secondary, academic, internship and independent living experiences for young adults with Learning Differences, Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism.

Website: http://www.collegeinternshipprogram.org/

College Living Experience

Post-secondary program for college-aged students with learning differences who require extra support with academic, social, and independent-living skills.

Website: www.experiencecle.com
Phone: Vanessa Lopez, outreach coordinator, at (831) 262-0566
Email: vlopez@experiencecle.com

DO-IT | Univ. of Washington

(Disabilities, Opportunities, Internet-working, and Technology)

Mission: DO-IT serves to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. It promotes the use of computer and networking technologies to increase independence, productivity, and participation in education and employment.

Phone: (206) 685-DOIT or (888) 972-DOIT
Website: http://www.washington.edu/doit/

College: You Can DO-IT! video | www.washington.edu/doit/Video/college.html
Preparing for College: An Online Tutorial | www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics
AccessSTEM: The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Evidence weak that vocational programs help young adults with autism

Article: Are studies needed on vocational programs for people with autism?

August 28, 2012

There is little evidence that current efforts to help prepare young adults with autism for the workforce are effective, according to a new study by researchers from Vanderbilt University. “There’s startlingly little information on the best ways to help adolescents and adults with autism achieve their maximum potential in the workplace and across the board,” says lead study author Julie Lounds Taylor. More funding is needed for research to determine which vocational programs are most effective for individuals with different types of the disorder, she said.

See: CNN/The Chart blog

Exceptional Minds

EXCEPTIONAL MINDS – A Non-Profit Vocational Center & Animation Studio for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Mission: Provides young adults with autism spectrum disorder customized instruction in multi-media arts in order to develop their strengths and enable them to earn a living in the fields of multi-media, computer animation, and graphic design.

Website: http://exceptionalmindsstudio.org/

Highline Community College Achieve Program| Classes

Highline Community College’s ACHIEVE Program provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to participate in a variety of classes and experiences in a community college setting.

 Website: http://flightline.highline.edu/ces/AchieveClasses.php

Marywood University’s SOAR Program

SOAR (Students On-Campus Achieving Results) is a one-of-a-kind program that encourages independent living and prepares students with autism for competitive employment.

SOAR provides students with autism “real life experiences” in an age-appropriate environment. The 8 enrolled students attend classes at Marywood, participate in a half-day of vocational activities in various offices and departments at the University, and participate in student activities.

Website: http://www.marywood.edu/soar/

Mason Life Program

The Mason LIFE Program is an innovative post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who desire a university experience in a supportive academic environment.

Location: George Mason University
Website: http://masonlife.gmu.edu/

Navigating College Handbook

Leaving high school and going to college is complicated for everyone. But if you’re a student on the autism spectrum who is about to enter higher education for the first time, it might be a little bit more complicated for you.

Maybe you’re worried about getting accommodations, getting places on time, or dealing with sensory issues in a new environment. Maybe you could use some advice on how to stay healthy at school, handle dating and relationships, or talk to your friends and classmates about your disability. Maybe you want to talk to someone who’s already dealt with these issues. That’s where we come in.

Navigating College
is an introduction to the college experience from those of us who’ve been there. The writers and contributors are Autistic adults, and we’re giving you the advice that we wish someone could have given us when we headed off to college. We wish we could sit down and have a chat with each of you, to share our experiences and answer your questions. But since we can’t teleport, and some of us have trouble meeting new people, this book is the next best thing…..”

Ari Ne’eman | President
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Website: http://www.navigatingcollege.org/
Download: PDF

New Directions Programs for Young Adults with Aspergers, ADHD, etc.

New Directions is a comprehensive program that provides young adults with the opportunity to pursue higher education and/or vocational goals, and transition into independence.

Our staff work closely with students to enhance their skills in a variety of areas. We provide structured tutoring so as to enhance academic skills; facilitate group outings so as to develop social skills; and provide instruction in independent living skills, such as grocery shopping, cooking and paying bills.

Students live independently in apartments located within the same living space as the New Directions offices/staff and receive intensive support to achieve their goals.

Website: http://newdirectionsfya.com
Phone: Dr. Drew Rubin @ (954) 571-5102 or (954) 571-5202

nonPareil Institute

Our Mission

nonPareil Institute is dedicated to providing technical training, employment and housing to individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We hope to one day be partially self-sustaining from the products our Crew build and market.

Our Vision

We envision ever-expanding programs beyond our current technology focus, and expanding our campus model around the world, which will allow a lifetime of sustainability, fulfillment and purpose for adults affected with autism spectrum disorder.

Website: http://www.npitx.org/
NPR: Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs

Media/Donor Contact:
Gary Moore 972-900-9476, gary@npitx.org
General Inquiries: 972-473-3593
Address: 5240 Tennyson Parkway, Suite 105, Plano, TX 75024
Mailing address: P.O. Box 260652, Plano, TX 75026-0652

OLS-Venture Program at Bellevue College | Bellevue, WA

OLS-Venture is an accredited associate degree program at Bellevue College for students with intellectual disabilities. This program focuses on occupational skills, critical thinking, self determination, and critical life skills.

OLS is a 4 year program with service learning opportunities, community involvement, and vocational internship requirements. Students participate in enriched academic learning and social experiences that assist with the transition into adult work and daily life.

Website: www.bellevuecollege.edu/ols

Post High School Scholarship for Autism and Aspergers

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) holds an annual Schwallie Family Scholarship Competition to support qualified individuals with autism or Asperger Syndrome residing in the United States pursuing post-secondary education.

OAR will present awards of $3,000 each across three categories:

1) Four-year undergraduate college or university
2) Two-year undergraduate college
3) Trade, technical or vocational school

These will be one-time awards for any recipient. For details visit:

Website: http://www.researchautism.org/news/otherevents/scholarship.asp

Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide

Autism Speaks
The Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide is designed to help you and your family explore the different opportunities and learning environments after leaving high school.

With only about one third of youth with autism attending college in young adulthood, Autism Speaks wants to offer the best possible resources on this topic to help you explore all of the various options available to you.

Click here to download the guide … or go to the website and view online.

see website

SAILS – Supported Academics & Independent Life Skills

SAILS – Supported Academic & Independent Life Skills

SAILS - Supported Academics & Independent Life Skills@ Seattle Central College

SAILS (Supported Academics and Independent Life Skills) at Seattle Central provides academic support services for students with ASD so they can be successful in college.

In collaboration with Student Services, faculty, staff and various college departments, SAILS seeks to facilitate a positive college experience for students with ASD. Our goal is to empower students by creating opportunity and support for their educational success. We encourage independence by teaching students with disabilities to effectively self-advocate in college.

Our premise is the belief is a college experience gives youth access to better job opportunities and independence in adulthood.

Mainstay/SAILS@Seattle Central College
1702 Harvard Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

Contact Information
Alison McCormick, Director
Mainstay & SAILS at Seattle Central
206-934-5429  D
206-890-7737  C
206-934-5533  Fax
206-934-3813  Reception

SARRC | Southwest Austism Research & Resource Center

Vocational / Life Skills Training

SARRC’s Vocational and Life Skills Academy (VLSA) is designed to help young adults and adults with ASDs express interest in potential careers while learning necessary life skills that will enhance their ability to live and work more independently. The academy works to model best-practices in the area of vocational and life skill development with community integrated programs, for individuals age 13 and older, that include typical mentoring and staff support.

In early 2009, SARRC opened its 10,000-square-foot  Vocational & Life Skills Academy, where students with autism will learn important skills to help them live as independently as possible. The building is located at 2225 N. 16th Street, just minutes from SARRC’s Don & Sybil Harrington Campus for Exceptional Children.

Website: http://www.autismcenter.org/vocational.aspx
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Email: sarrc@autismcenter.org

Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center was created to help meet the important needs of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities as they age out of the education system. The Burnett Adult Life Center hosts year-round classes for adults age 18 or older. Our classes promote lifelong learning, enhance quality of life and provide meaningful ways to take part in the community.

Website: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/contact/alyssa-burnett-adult-life-center/
Phone: 425-488-6173
Email: alyssaburnettcenter@seattlechildrens.org
Address: 19213 Bothell Way, Bothell, WA 98011

 KING 5 HealthLink video


The Sage Colleges

The Sage Colleges is launching a new program for college students with special needs, called the Achieve Degree. This online bachelor’s degree was developed by Sage in collaboration with Excelsior College specifically for people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or other learning disabilities.

The Achieve Degree – A breakthrough 4-year degree designed for students who have the ability and ambition… who simply are not comfortable in a traditional classroom. Removing barriers, opening opportunities.

Website: http://www.sage.edu/sca/academics/achieve/

Mike Jones
Assistant Director
Graduate and Adult Admission
The Sage Colleges
(518) 292-8636

Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome: A Professor’s Guide

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) released this 12-minute video for use by college students with Asperger’s Syndrome as a tool to educate their professors, teaching assistants, and other about the condition. Video includes information on reasonable accommodations in the college classroom.

Download at no cost: www.researchautism.org/resources/AspergerDVDSeries.asp