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Feb 01, 2024

The transition from to work after school is difficult for autistic people

Life Skills News Work & Study

New research by Western Sydney University finds that transition to post schooling for autistic young people is fraught. It also found that while young school leavers are keen to prove themselves in the workforce, there is limited support for autistic young people and their families. The complicated and limited funding further locks out young people in need.

The study further found that the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns resulted in diminished support, poor motivation and mental health for autistic young people.

7 key recommendations 

Out of the study came 7 key recommendations to optimise post school transition for neuro-diverse students. They are:

  1. Transition planning needs to start early.
  2. Improve awareness and capacity of workplaces, TAFE and Universities.
  3. Adopt an individualised approach, driven by an autistic young person’s passions.
  4. Expand access to intensive school leaver employment supports like School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES).
  5. Support the mental health of young people and parents.
  6. More resources and access to work experience is needed in schools to support young people to prepare for transition.
  7. Bring the voice of lived experience into individual planning and systemic processes to optimise their application and success.

The study clearly shows that neuro-diverse students need intervention, support and realistic goals if they are going successfully transition to their adult lives.

Life After School 

Northcott’s ‘Life After School’ is specifically designed to deliver a tailored, customised program of supports and opportunities to these students, especially those that are not eligible for NDIS support.

This program is designed for young people with learning difficulties or challenges, who are preparing to leave school, or have left school in the last five years and are looking for employment. It is for individuals who are neurodiverse, have other learning difficulties and for those that needed some extra support at school.

During the program, they will have opportunities to access coaching, mentoring and work experience prospects that will enable them to get ready for the future of work.

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