Over the next decade, an estimated 707,000 to 1,116,000 teens with autism will transition out of high school. If trends continue, their participation in post-secondary education or paid employment will be significantly lower than those of their typical peers, or even those with learning disabilities.*
- 36% of young adults with autism enroll in post-secondary education following high school, compared to 62% of their typical peers and even 55% of young adults with learning disabilities.
- 58% of young adults with autism have held community employment, the majority of which were part-time and low-paying jobs. Again, this is significantly lower than even the 95% employment rate among young adults with learning disabilities.
Linden Grove School is encouraged by the increasing array of programs and supports to help teens with autism transition to post-secondary education, meaningful employment, and/or housing and residential supports. To truly help young adults achieve their personal goals whatever they might be, requires increased emphasis on educational programs and supports for school-age children.
Educational planning for students with autism often addresses a wide range of skill development including academics, language and communication, social skills, behavior, and more. No one program or approach is ideal for all students with autism; families should explore and learn about different options and choose the one they feel is most appropriate.
Once the option for education has been determined, a positive relationship between parents and professionals increases student success. Parents should share with educators their expectations, as well as methods and motivations that work at home; teachers and other professionals similarly share information on their expectations and needs, as well as insights and ideas. Open communication between parents and professionals can lead to more effective goal-setting and evaluation of a student’s progress.
*See studies from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, National Center for Special Education Research, and American Academy of Pediatrics.