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Work. 2001;16(3):201-207.

Autism, employment, and the role of occupational therapy.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA.


The purpose of this article is to review the existing literature to generate guidelines for the role of occupational therapy in employment for persons with autism. Previous research about strengths and barriers to employment, and types of employment commonly offered to persons with autism are reviewed. The supported employment model is identified as the most productive approach for use with this population. The four approaches to the supported employment model and the best practice contributions of several innovative supported employment programs are discussed. The interdisciplinary team approach is best to assist persons with autism to gain employment and ensure success on the job. The role of the occupational therapist as a beneficial team member in assessment, job development, job placement and training, and supported employment is outlined.

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