VCU researchers found that three months after graduating from an intensive job skills internship program, 90% of autistic high school students had well paying part-time jobs and a year later, 87% were still working.
Dr. Paul Wehman chairs the VCU rehabilitation research division. He said, “With the right intervention and help and support from skilled employment specialists, these young men and women really show their gifts and they become more and confident. They don’t make mistakes, they come to work at a 98% rate.”
The impact on their lives, he said, is also noteworthy. “All of the individuals who were in the nine month internship over time have become more independent and need less support.”
Dr. Wehman added, these autistic students are gifted and bright. “We really don’t know how to communicate with a lot of these young folks it still a mystery that is waiting to be unlocked.”
A second study with a larger group of students is ongoing.