The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

31 July 2016

What's Next for Persons with Autism

Every parent has a dream for their child -- to find their vocations, to be productive and to be self-reliant. But for the young adults with autism, after the years of therapies and interventions, what's next?

Our speaker, Mr. Dominic Cheoc, an occupational therapist specializing in transition education, discussed preparing persons with autism for employment, recognizing their strengths and challenges, developing employability skills, among others.  He recognized that not all paths to productivity mean traditional employment. They may also choose to go into sheltered workshops, part-time work, freelance work and volunteerism.

Expressive communication skills and social skills are only some of the abilities PWAs need to develop to land traditional jobs.  Other challenges that need to be overcome include but are not limited to a narrow set of interests, obsessions, irrational fears.  

Many adults with autism possess skills and attitudes suitable and valuable for specific industries and job roles. PWA's can be assets in workplaces; because they are focused on their work, keen on details. They have a good memory, acute organization skills, accurate visual perception and tolerance to repetitive activities. Groups like LGU PESO units, UNILAB Foundation and of course, ASP through its Autism Works career placement initiative, aim to bring these uniqueness to employers, so they can benefit from this under-tapped work force.

Employment steps for PWAs is similar for everyone else. They must walk into a recruiter's office with the experience, training and behavior, suitable for the job they aspire to have. They will undergo assessment that will being to the fore their skills, interests, capabilities and strengths; as well as their challenges.

Once they have landed the position, job coaching and continued counselling will help the PWAs deal with their work environment; as well as help the employer manage their worker on the spectrum better -- towards better acceptance, accommodation, and appreciation.

ASP National President Mona Veluz introduced the ASP Autism Works program which was carefully crafted after evaluating ASP's years of experience in finding work for persons with autism.  Under Ms. Mona's management, the program developed recruitment, assessment and training modules -- continuously evolving to reflect the needs of the PWAs and the employers.

The seminar attended by 45 participants compose of professionals and parents held in Autism Society Philippines National Headquarters last 30 July 2016.

About the contributor: Lloyd Ngo worked as an ASP intern when he attended Independent Living and Learning Center. He began working in 2012 as an encoder at the Ongkiko Manhit Custodio and Acorda Law Offices in Makati. He is currently ASP’s Program Assistant for Communications.



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