Exploring the Impact of Community Service on Career Exploration, Self-Determination, and Social Skills for Transition-Age Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Jaimie Timmons, Agnieszka Zalewska, Allison Cohen Hall, and Sheila Fesko

April 11, 2017

Bleak transition outcomes for youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), coupled with the surge in incidence, has led to the need for focused and innovative transition strategies. While structured community service reveals promise, documentation of how community service experiences contribute to building employment skills for youth with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), including those with ASD, is underresearched. A new article in Inclusion explores the impact of a community service experience on employment skill-building for youth with ASD. Findings from 23 qualitative interviews with a range of stakeholders showed positive perceptions in the areas of career exploration, self-determination, and social skill building. Implications emphasize the likely benefits of structured community service and the potential to maximize the connection to employment, and thus community inclusion, for transition-age youth with ASD.

Access this article in the most recent issue of Inclusion available at http://aaiddjournals.org/toc/incl/5/1