In today’s economic conditions, it is very difficult to find a job even for us, and this situation becomes even more challenging for individuals with autism. Individuals with autism struggle with unemployment or underemployment problems. And this rate is at such high levels that it cannot be underestimated.
According to studies, it is thought that up to 70% of approximately 6 million adults with autism in the USA are struggling with unemployment or underemployment. Research has shown that approximately 50% of individuals with autism under the age of 25 have never worked in a paid job, despite having the skills and expertise required by the job.
It is estimated that the unemployment rate among individuals with autism is around 85% worldwide. According to these statistics, it is possible to say that two-thirds of adults with autism do not participate in working life. In general, individuals with autism have a higher unemployment and social isolation rate than other disabled individuals.
There are several different barriers to hiring individuals on the autism spectrum. On the other hand, there are many important reasons for hiring them. The most important of these is to ensure diversity in the working environment and to ensure the participation of individuals with autism in working life. Employers should show great common sense at this point so that financial concerns are shouldn’t be an obstacle for individuals on the spectrum to receive the support and assistance they need.
- Between 50 and 75% of approximately 6 million individuals with autism living in the USA are unemployed or underemployed.
- Almost 50% of individuals with autism aged 25 and under have never worked in a paid job in their lifetime, even if they have the skills and abilities required for the job.
- More than 60% of young people with autism in the USA do not even complete their post-secondary education and therefore cannot work.
- In direct proportion to the increasing global unemployment, the unemployment rate of individuals with autism is also increasing.
- About 15% of individuals with autism living in the UK work in a full-time paid job.
- About 15% of individuals with autism living in the UK work in a part-time but paid job.
- Approximately 30% of individuals with autism living in the UK work in a paid job.
- About half of individuals with autism living and working in the UK think that they are underemployed and that the skills they have are more functional than the work they are doing.
Aside from emphasizing why a person on the autism spectrum should join the business, it should be well understood that employing that person in your business is not a charity. This situation is more related to the compatibility of the needs of the company and the individual with autism. Ensuring neuro-diversity in workplaces is actually an added value.
A professional point of view should also be possessed in the employment of individuals with autism. There is a great misconception in society about this issue, that individuals with autism cannot be successful in professions such as finance and technology. However, there is a fact that individuals with autism may have extra talent and interest in these matters. With this talent and interest they have, they can be much more successful than us. They can be quite successful not only in such professions but also in many other professions by having sufficient knowledge and skills. It will be enough to find this point. Asking skill-based questions needed during interviews will help you understand this in a short time.
According to research, companies that employ individuals with autism receive commercial and financial benefits in addition to the social advantages they see. They have an increased commercial profitability rate. Because of the fact that individuals with autism, who have intellectual differences add different and original values to the company they are involved in, enables them to become a more productive and high-quality company.
There have always been noticeable differences between companies that include individuals with autism and companies that do not, both socially and financially. There are many case studies that can be cited as examples of this. Companies that include individuals with autism have always had a more innovative perspective. Therefore, we should always keep in mind that individuals with autism should also be present in the talent pool while recruiting.
Standard processes should not be followed in the recruitment processes of individuals with autism. These processes are designed for neurotypical people and their way of thinking. If these processes are followed, the innovations that autistic candidates can provide to the company will be prevented. The talents and skills of individuals with autism can be kept hidden. This does not mean that all individuals on the spectrum are eliminated at the end of these standard processes. But it is a fact that its implementation would not make much sense. Recruitment processes and interviews should be tailored to individuals with autism and these rights should be given to them. In this way, in fact, equal rights will be presented.
Employment is essential in increasing the full participation of people with disabilities in society. It is also useful for companies that will use their capabilities. Research shows that companies with disabled employees have a better personnel continuity policy by reducing the costs caused by frequent personnel changes. For individuals with autism, employment is more than just a job; It is the opportunity to live a fuller and more independent life.
Individuals with Autism and Choosing a Profession
When their child is diagnosed with autism, families tend to react as if something tragic had happened to them. Whether this situation is met with cold blood or emotional reactions, the process is challenging for everyone. Apart from the difficulty of accepting the process, it is the healthiest not to perceive this situation as a disaster in the process of supporting an individual diagnosed with autism.
A perspective that is free from the preconditions that often complicate our lives will give us the opportunity to look at autism and our children diagnosed with autism from a different perspective. Trying to understand them as a whole with the features that distinguish them from other people is the greatest support that can be offered in overcoming the difficulties imposed on them by autism and minimizing their problems.
Our primary goal should be to understand the process and to try to transform them into individuals who can stand healthy in society and produce meaningful productions for other people. While managing such a process, a legitimate concern arises for families: their children with autism will get a job in their adult years! How their children will cope with life in the coming years, perhaps when their families are not with them, and whether they will be able to stand on their own feet, are among the primary concerns of families.
When considering what professions are suitable for individuals diagnosed with autism, it is necessary to consider the strengths of the child, not the attractiveness of the profession and its popularity in society. For individuals diagnosed with autism, when choosing a profession in the future, the difficulties experienced by the individual in social relations, competencies in long-term and short-term memory areas, and concrete and abstract thinking skills should be taken into account.
Since most of the diagnosed individuals have problems in social relations, in the process of choosing a profession, besides the social skills of the person, the products he/she presents should also be taken into consideration. When choosing a profession, areas, where social relations are less important, should be considered. For individuals with high-functioning autism, computer programming may be an option. Considering that diagnosed individuals have difficulties in abstract thinking areas, staying away from fields such as history, political science, business administration, and literature may facilitate the child’s work.
It may be wise to stay away from occupations that burden short-term memory, such as cashier, waitress, chauffeur, occupations where verbal instructions are taken, airline ticket agency, broker, air traffic controller, receptionist, and operator.
The following professions are recommended for individuals who do not think visually and are good in mathematics, music, and data: accounting, librarian, computer programming, engineering, journalism, editor, chauffeur, cashier, box office worker, statistician, physicist, mathematician.
Finally, it is suggested that individuals with autism with speech problems may also be responsible for the shelving in libraries or work on assembly lines in factories. These individuals are also said to find suitable occupations as a warehouse keepers, gardeners, data entry, facility maintenance, and recycling facilities.
While choosing a profession for our children diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s with a justified and justifiable concern, we must first make sure how well we know our child. You can also have a group meeting with your trusted specialists and therapists who are with you and your child during the therapy process. Thus, you can better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses and determine their orientation.
Autism Prevalence Rate in General
In today’s world, even though it is hard to tell the exact reason for rising the prevalence rate of autism, researchers state a couple of main reasons. These reasons could be people are more aware right, diagnosis criteria are broader, and anything else. According to statistics published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among every 68 children, there is at least 1 child with an autism spectrum disorder. The prevalence rate is higher in boys than in girls. While it is 1 in 42 among boys, it is 1 in 189 among girls.
As we all know, the prevalence rate has been rising step by step. This rising is happening since the first investigation is done which is in 2000. According to the researchers, the main reasons behind this rising are awareness about autism and broadening the definition of autism. Now, there are many things that are included in the term. By this time, this rising has become more apparent.
The diagnosis of autism is done by experts’ observations and family stories. This diagnosis criteria also make it rise more. There is no concrete and certain testing for autism even though researchers try to develop some testing, such as blood testing, brain scanning, and so on. Since they are not possible to understand whether a child has autism or not, diagnosis relies on observations of behaviors.
In order to obtain these numbers, researchers in The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observe children who are 8 years old and live in the USA. The first investigation was done in 2000. It was supported by Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.
After the first investigation, this observation has been done every two years. The target population has been children who are 8 years old because of the fact that if there is a sign of autism, it reaches its peak around this age. It is easier to observe whether the child meets the diagnostic criteria or not. It is easier to make a health assessment.
- Approximately 1 in 54 children are getting diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Among boys, the rate is 1 in 34.
- Among girls, the rate is 1 in 144.
- Boys are more likely to get a diagnosis of autism.
- Even though a child can get a diagnosis at age 2, most children don’t get a diagnosis until age 4. It is mostly the parents’ fault. They don’t want to believe their children have problems. They don’t want to accept their children’s needs.
- Most children with autism have an intellectual disability.
- 1/3 of individuals with autism are nonverbal.
- At least 2/3 of individuals with autism have been bullied during school years, mostly between 9 to 15 years old.
- Nearly 2/3 of individuals with autism are likely to engage in self-injurious and self-harming behaviors.
- Nearly 90% of deaths in the autism community are observed among children who are 14 or younger.
- In the case of autism, there is no selectivity on ethnicity, race, and economical status.
- Education is very important in order to get diagnosed. If the parents are not enough educated and not aware of what autism is, their children are more likely to get diagnosed later.
- Early intervention and early diagnosis of autism are very important in order to get a proper treatment plan. With the proper treatment, people on the autism spectrum can live a better life and quality life. It will be beneficial in their whole life.
- There is no specific testing and assessments for autism. It is based on pediatricians’ observations.
- There is no certain treatment and medicine in order to cure autism spectrum disorder completely.
Prevalence Rate of Autism by Countries
- Belgium: 60 in 10000 children
- Canada: 106 in 10000 children
- China: 23 in 10000 children
- Denmark: 69 in 10000 children
- Estonia: 60 in 10000 children
- Finland: 54 in 10000 children
- Germany: 38 in 10000 children
- Hong Kong: 372 in 10000 children
- Ireland: 153 in 10000 children
- Japan: 181 in 10000 children
- Netherlands: 48 in 10000 children
- Norway: 51 in 10000 children
- Poland: 3 in 10000 children
- Singapore: 67 in 10000 children
- South Korea: 263 in 10000 children
- Switzerland: 145 in 10000 children
- Taiwan: 5 in 10000 children
- United States: 222 in 10000 children
There are many reasons for these differences. These reasons could be population, education level, economical level, awareness of autism, and so on.
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