Impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behaviour put people with ASD at a disadvantage in the increasingly communications-oriented service- economy job market. Many people with ASD have strengths such as accuracy, attention for details, reliability and meticulous application of routine tasks and could be an opportunity for job market if properly enhanced, communicated and understood. Unfortunately their capability to work seems to be hugely underestimated. Materials and Methods: The wide framework of the research required multilevel evaluations, with specific tools for each level. 1-Patients referring to the Laboratorio Autismo were asked to fill an online questionnaire. The interview focused on their education, past and present work experiences and degree of satisfaction. 2-A specific tool (TANGRAM Profile) was developed. It was thought and structured considering the posssible point of view of potential employers. The TANGRAM Profile was modified on the basis of the suggestions from the Human Resources Depts. of some companies. 3-The study also included a survey developed to understand the expectations and worries of the potential recruiters regarding the employment of workers with disability and, in particular, with autism. Results 1-The online questionnaire was answered by 87 people (65 males and 22 females), aged 30 years (mean 30,26; range 13,36-57,37). Cognitive functioning was normal (IQT >75) or higher than average in 59,8%. As far as people with intellectual disability are concerned, 18 of 35 adults with ASD (51.4%) do not carry out any activity, while the remaining 17 (48.6%) are employed for a few hours a week in internships, unpaid placements or occupational therapy. Moreover, for none of them we found report of specific educational training in the past. The sample of adults without cognitive impairment counts 40 persons (13 females and 27 males). In current work experience, 61.6% of women have a job vs 33,3% for men. Only 4 people of 17 who are currently employed considered the job appropriate to their skills. 2-The TANGRAM Profile was filled for 2 male patients referring to the Laboratorio Autismo. In this preliminary phase attention was paid to the many possible details rather than the sample size. The pilot project for job placement is presented through two detailed case reports, with a description of each phase. The first is a 30 years old man who was employed in a company operating in claims management. After an internship period, the man has been employed by the company. The other case report is about a 16 year-old student’ internship, according to a MIUR directive. He took the internship at the RAILWAY Operations Center, in line with the student’s special interest. His expertise in this field was so high that he produced tangible benefits for the company and allowed the continuation of the collaboration beyond the internship period. 3-The online questionnaire was answered by 62 companies. The TANGRAM Profile was evaluated positively according to all dimensions (useful, simple, comprehensible, accurate, clear, relevant, effective and complete). The answers concerning the attitude towards disability have highlighted a rather closed job market in regard to the employment of workers with disability and little inclination to see a resource and opportunity in workers with ASD. Discussion Our research confirms the difficult social inclusion for adults with ASD and reveals a cultural approach focused more on the assistance to meet primary needs rather than on the support of abilities, without a view of personal achievement and reduction in social costs. Employment for people with ASD needs a social model in which the maximum benefit for each stakeholder is gained from the synergic matching between their individual actions. Just as in the composition of a Tangram.
|Titolo:||Invastigating difficulties and opportunities in the job market for people with autism spectrum disorders: the tangram project.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||6-ott-2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.01 Tesi di dottorato|