Study findings published Monday in Pediatrics showed one in three young adults with autism have no paid job experience, college, or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation. With roughly half a million kids with autism reaching adulthood in the next decade, now is the time to ask what can be done to improve their odds of success. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can play a unique and valuable role in building communication skills these individuals will need to join the work world.
Difficulties with spoken and written language constitute a core challenge for individuals with autism. Communication deficits have a direct and significant impact on an individual's ability to acquire the social as well as vocational skills needed to obtain and keep a job. SLPs can use video modeling, conversation groups, and electronic media to help their clients with autism develop employment skills such as interviewing, understand and respond to social cues, and build literacy and technology capabilities.
Meanwhile, adults with autism and their employers also benefit from the work of SLPs, who can assist with on-the-job training and help human resources staff understand employees' unique needs and create structures and accommodations that foster success.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 150,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.
For More Information
Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at www.asha.org/.
Speech-language pathologist experts are available to talk to the media.