PRESENTER: Dr. Stephen Shore
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 30, 2018 — For an adult with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), finding employment can be extremely difficult, especially without the proper advocacy, training, and direction. Unfortunately, the autism unemployment rate has been reported as high as 85%. To help increase awareness and support, Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices hosted a successful workshop on Employment Strategy and Job Success for Individuals with ASD. The speaker, Dr. Stephen Shore, a member of Icare4Autism advisory committee and an assistant professor at Adelphi University, presented his personal experience with tips to finding secure and successful employment. The workshop was held on May 29, 2018 at Touro College in Manhattan and was attended by parents, therapists, and individuals with ASD.
One of the main insights from Dr. Shore’s presentation was the importance of finding employment based on the individual’s strength. This concept was emphasized throughout the presentation and he further explained that there are neurological and physiological reasons why individuals are better at particular subjects than others. Dr. Shore stressed that individuals with ASD should focus on identifying ways to develop their interests and enthusiasms, utilizing positive skills instead of remediating weaknesses. For example, if someone struggles with multitasking but is really good at something else, they should not put all of their energy into working on improving multitasking.
Identifying interests and non-interests at an early age is an important skill for development. This interest could potentially foreshadow what a child could do well in the future. Dr. Shore, who has ASD, indicated that as a teenager he loved repairing bicycles. He decided to approach the shop manager at the local bicycle shop and discussed his interest and passion in repairing bikes; ultimately he received a job offer to work at that store. Throughout college, he distributed flyers on campus soliciting business to fix bicycles. Although this wasn’t his career path, it gave him the ability to earn money and improve his skills based on his interest.
“Dr. Shore stressed that individuals with ASD should focus on identifying ways to develop their interests and enthusiasms, utilizing positive skills instead of remediating weaknesses. For example, if someone struggles with multitasking but is really good at something else, they should not put all of their energy into working on improving multitasking.”
Download a free online resource for employment that Dr. Shore and his colleague Robert Naseef developed called Neurodiversity in the Workplace Curriculum.
Shema Kolainu – Hear our Voices (SKHOV), a School and Center for Children with Autism, is a leader in the field of special education. SKHOV workshop series is a great opportunity to gain knowledge from some of the best resources in the field of autism.
Joshua Weinstein – Ph.D., M.B.A., CEO & Founder, Suri Gruen – Program Director, Gili Rechany – MA, SBL, BCBA, LBA, Educational Director
This workshop was made possible by the New York City Council Autism Initiative who provides the necessary funds for this program. Shema Kolainu’s next workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 26th with Dena Ezagui, MS, CCC-SLP. She will be presenting an Introduction to Pediatric Oral Motor and Feeding Therapy. To register and view previous workshops, please visit us at shemakolainu.org.