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Autism. 2015 Feb;19(2):235-45. doi: 10.1177/1362361313516548. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Vocational support approaches in autism spectrum disorder: a synthesis review of the literature.

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University of Calgary, Canada
Attridge Consulting, Incorporated, USA.
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada University of Alberta, Canada.
University of Calgary, Canada The Sinneave Family Foundation, Canada.


This synthesis-based analysis identifies and reviews studies evaluating vocational resources for adults with autism spectrum disorder. It is based on a larger systematic review of intervention studies in autism spectrum disorder, from which a critical interpretive synthesis was conducted on studies related to vocation and autism spectrum disorder. In total, 10 studies were found that examine employment support for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Two domains of vocational intervention in the literature were found: supported employment including community placement and job coaching and media and technology-based augmentative tools. The literature is limited in volume and quality of methodology, yet emerging constructs are promising in introducing the utility of vocational resources, in particular, supported employment in community settings. These vocational approaches are examined, along with representative studies. Recommendations for advancing practice, community capacity, and research are offered.


autism spectrum disorder; disability; job coaching; supported employment; vocational support; vocational training

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