Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2017


autism, transition, community service, employment, ThinkWork


Disability Law | Psychology | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Bleak transition outcomes for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), coupled with the surge in incidence, has led to the need for focused and innovative transition strategies. While structured community service reveals promise, documentation of how community service experiences contribute to building employment skills for youth with intellectual/developmental disability (IDD), including those with ASD, is under-researched. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of a community service on employment skill-building for youth with ASD. Findings from 23 qualitative interviews with a range of stakeholders showed positive perceptions in the areas of career exploration, self-determination, and social skill building. Implications emphasize the likely benefits of structured community service and the potential to maximize the connection to employment, and thus community inclusion, for transition-age youth with ASD.




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