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Autism. 2005 Dec;9(5):533-49.

An 8 year follow-up of a specialist supported employment service for high-ability adults with autism or Asperger syndrome.

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St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Few supported employment programmes have been specifically designed for people with autism, especially those who are more able. This study examines the outcome of a supported employment service (NAS Prospects) for adults with autism or Asperger syndrome (IQ 60+) over an 8 year period. Approximately 68 percent of clients found employment. Of the 192 jobs, the majority were permanent contracts and most involved administrative, technical or computing work. Assessment of current clients indicates that IQ, language skills and educational attainments are high. However, work has also been found for those of lower abilities. Individuals supported by Prospects show a rise in salaries, contribute more tax and claim fewer benefits. Satisfaction with the scheme is high among clients, employers and support workers. Although the programme continues to incur a financial deficit, this has decreased. Moreover, there are many non-financial benefits, which are difficult to quantify. The importance of specialist employment support of this kind is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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