BCEC Report

A strength-based program for adolescents with autism

Report SeriesFeature
AuthorsMatthew Jones, Marita Falkmer, Ben Milbourn, Tele Tan, Louise Sheehy, Sven Bölte, Sonya Girdler
PublishedSeptember 2018
PublisherBankwest Curtin Economics Centre
Number of Pages40

It is widely recognised that many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have abilities and strengths well suited to employment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. Despite this, their overall employment rate remains marginal.

Recent studies have proposed that implementing strength-based programs that prepare adolescents with ASD for the workforce could improve their employment outcomes in adulthood. Unfortunately, there is minimal research on what actually constitutes a strength-based program and how these programs should be developed and delivered.

This report embeds current knowledge, as reported in literature, together with data obtained by observations and interviews from three existing strength-based ICT-groups. The aim was to develop guidelines for strength-based ICT programs for adolescents with ASD. In order to enable the provision of recommendations for service providers intending to deliver strength-based programs, this report identifies essential components of an effective, strength-based ICT program. The findings indicated three essential areas that service providers should consider when developing and delivering strength-based programs for individuals with ASD; 1) facilitators, 2) activities and 3) environment. This report also provides recommendations for service providers relating to the components to be considered in these areas when developing strength-based ICT-programs.