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Items: 10

1.
BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 27;18(1):75. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1645-7.

Education and employment status of adults with autism spectrum disorders in Germany - a cross-sectional-survey.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Hauptstraße 5, 79104, Freiburg, Germany. fabian.frank@uniklinik-freiburg.de.
2
Department of Social Work, Protestant University of Applied Sciences Freiburg, Bugginger Straße 38, 79114, Freiburg, Germany. fabian.frank@uniklinik-freiburg.de.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Hauptstraße 5, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
4
Department of Oncological Rehabilitation - UKF Reha gGmbH, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Breisacher Straße 117, 79106, Freiburg, Germany.
5
Parkklinik Wiesbaden Schlangenbad, Rheingauer Straße 47, 65388, Schlangenbad, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience challenges in participating in the labour market and struggle to achieve and maintain appropriate professional positions, possibly due to impairments of communication and social interaction. Studies have shown high rates of unemployment as well as evidence of inadequate employment. As knowledge on the participation in the German labour market is scarce, the aim of our study was to examine employment status, type of occupation and inadequate employment in a sample of clinically mostly late-diagnosed and most likely not intellectually disabled adults with ASD in Germany.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional-survey in clinically mostly late-diagnosed adults with ASD. Employment status, type of occupation, and the level of formal education and training were examined through a postal questionnaire. Inadequate employment regarding participants' current and longest practised occupation was assessed by transforming participants' information into skill levels of the "Classification of Occupations 2010" of the German Federal Employment Agency, and comparing these with participants' level of formal education and training.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 43.2% (N = 185 of N = 428 potential participants). 94.6% were first-time diagnosed when being 18 years of age or older. 56.8% held a general university entrance-level qualification and 24.9% had obtained a Masters' or diploma degree as their highest vocational qualification. 94.1% had been employed at some time. Of these, 68.4% reported being currently employed, 13.5% being currently unemployed and 17.0% being retired for health reasons. Regarding the longest-practised and the current occupation, the highest proportion of participants was found in the occupational area "health and social sector, teaching and education" (22.4% and 23.3%, respectively). With respect to inadequate employment, 22.1% were found to be overeducated in relation to their longest-practised occupation and 31.3% in relation to their current occupation. This is significantly higher than the percentage of overeducation in the general population.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite largely high formal qualifications, the clinically mostly late-diagnosed adults with ASD represented in our sample are disadvantaged regarding their participation in the German labour market, especially with respect to rates of unemployment, early retirement and overeducation. Employment support programs should be developed to improve employment outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Adults; Asperger syndrome; Autism; Education; Employment; High functioning

2.
Autism. 2017 May;21(4):458-469. doi: 10.1177/1362361316650090. Epub 2016 May 26.

Asperger syndrome in males over two decades: Quality of life in relation to diagnostic stability and psychiatric comorbidity.

Author information

1
1 University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
2 Uppsala University, Sweden.

Abstract

This study examined objective quality of life (work, academic success, living situation, relationships, support system) and subjective quality of life (Sense of Coherence and Short-Form Health Survey-36) in an adult sample of males ( n = 50, mean age: 30 years) with Asperger syndrome diagnosed in childhood and followed prospectively over two decades. The association between long-term diagnostic stability of an autism spectrum disorder and/or comorbid psychiatric disorders with quality of life was also examined. The results showed great variability as regards quality of life. The subsample that no longer fulfilled an autism spectrum disorder had full-time jobs or studies (10/11), independent living (100%), and reported having two or more friends (100%). In the stable autism spectrum disorder group, 41% had full-time job or studies, 51% lived independently, and 33% reported two or more friends, and a significant minority had specialized employments, lived with support from the government, or had no friends. Academic success was positively correlated with IQ. A majority of the total group scored average Sense of Coherence scores, and the mean for Short-Form Health Survey-36 was above average regarding psychical health and below average regarding mental health. Stability of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis was associated with objective but not subjective quality of life, while psychiatric comorbidity was associated with subjective but not objective quality of life.

KEYWORDS:

adults; autism spectrum disorders; development; diagnosis; psychiatric comorbidity; quality of life

PMID:
27233289
DOI:
10.1177/1362361316650090
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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3.
PLoS One. 2014 Jun 20;9(6):e100358. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100358. eCollection 2014.

Aspergers--different, not less: occupational strengths and job interests of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Rooted in the neurodiversity approach, this study provides an overview of the strengths and interests of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. We interviewed 136 individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and 155 neurotypical individuals via an online survey with regards to (a) demography, (b) occupational strengths, (c) general self-efficacy, (d) occupational self-efficacy, and (e) the job interest profile according to Holland. The vocational and educational fields of the individuals with Asperger's in the sample are more diverse than and surpass those classical fields stated in research and biographical literature. The comparison of both groups in cross-tables showed that the indicated strengths differ in several areas (ΦCramer = .02-.47), which means that a specific strength profile can be derived, and this profile goes beyond the clinical view of the diagnostic criteria. Individuals with Asperger's indicate lower self-efficacy, both general and occupational. Furthermore, a high concentration of individuals with Asperger's can be found in the areas I (Investigative) and C (Conventional) of Holland's RIASEC model.

PMID:
24950060
PMCID:
PMC4065100
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0100358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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4.
J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Oct;44(10):2440-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2112-z.

Employment activities and experiences of adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Disorder.

Author information

1
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), PO Box 361, Forestville, NSW, 2087, Australia, sbaldwin@autismspectrum.org.au.

Abstract

There is limited large-scale empirical research into the working lives of adults who have an autism spectrum disorder with no co-occurring intellectual disability. Drawing on data from a national survey, this report describes the employment activities and experiences of 130 adults with Asperger's Disorder (AD) and high functioning autism (HFA) in Australia. Outcome measures include current occupation; occupational skill level and alignment with educational attainment; type of job contract; hours of work; support received to find work; support received in the workplace; and positive and negative experiences of employment. The findings confirm and expand upon existing evidence that adults with AD and HFA, despite their capacity and willingness to work, face significant disadvantages in the labour market and a lack of understanding and support in employment settings.

PMID:
24715257
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-014-2112-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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5.
Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi. 2013;115(6):664-9.

[Assessment and treatment of developmental disorder traits in adult mental disorder: from the viewpoint of maladjustment in a company and university].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

1
Atsugi Shinryo Clinic, Meiji University Student Counseling Room.

Abstract

This paper discusses the maladjustment reaction of adults with autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome to a working environment or university setting, from the viewpoint of a psychiatrist seeing them in areas of occupational and college mental health. The author is in charge of a day care program for company workers, called "The Return-to-Work Support Course", at a mental clinic. A total of 176 patients attended the program and most of them were originally diagnosed with depression and/or adjustment disorder. The author noted that five of them showed some traits of developmental disorder. They initially had been capable specialists at work, but started showing mental and psychosocial dysfunction as they received promotions and became team leaders or managers. It seems that changes in their work environment involving their superiors, co-workers, the organization, etc., easily affected their work performance and triggered their maladjustment, and finally caused their leave of absence. The author also works in a university student counseling room, and noted that some students started to show maladjustment in the course of writing their graduation thesis or applying for jobs, although they previously had performed fairly well at university. They could not maintain good communication with thesis advisers, could not perform adequately during a group discussion at a job interview, or could not cope with personnel offices appropriately. After being interviewed, they were diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Not only child psychiatrists but all psychiatrists should have a sufficient knowledge of developmental disorders, and they need to be cautious when they diagnose patients and inform them.

PMID:
23944126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
6.
Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2010 Nov;30(4):264-76. doi: 10.3109/01942638.2010.500893.

Mastering social and organization goals: strategy use by two children with Asperger syndrome during cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance.

Author information

1
Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. s.rodger@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Preliminary data supports the effectiveness of Cognitive Orientation to (daily) Occupational Performance (CO-OP) for children with Asperger syndrome (AS). Children with AS often experience social and organizational difficulties spanning daily occupations. This case study explored the pattern of Global Strategies and Domain-Specific Strategies (DSS) use, the type of guidance, and dimensions of time on task used by two children with AS (aged 10 and 12 years) in addressing social and organizational goals during the CO-OP intervention. Coding of the videotaped CO-OP sessions suggested that both children (a) utilized all the Global strategies, particularly "understanding the context” and "plan"; (b) used six common DSS, namely transitional supports, affective supports, attending, task-specification, task modification, and supplementing task knowledge, with task-specification being most prominent;

Comment in

PMID:
20822395
DOI:
10.3109/01942638.2010.500893
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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7.
Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;56(4):336-47. doi: 10.1177/0020764008101635. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Belonging and doing: important factors for satisfaction with sexual relations as perceived by people with persistent mental illness.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University SE-20506, Malmö, Sweden. mona.eklund@med.lu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is increasingly acknowledged that satisfaction with sexual relations forms an important aspect of people's lives, but little is known of factors associated with this phenomenon among people with mental illness.

AIM:

This study aimed to investigate how demographic, social, clinical, and health-related factors were related to satisfaction with sexual relations.

METHODS:

Patients with persistent mental illness (N = 103), recruited from an outpatient unit, were assessed regarding the target variables.

RESULTS:

No clinical variable, and only one demographic factor, namely being a cohabitant, was found to be important to satisfaction with sexual relations. Several social factors, pertaining to how everyday occupations were valued and how the social network was perceived, were shown to be of importance. General quality of life, but not self-rated health or interviewer-assessed psychopathology, was also important for satisfaction with sexual relations. A multivariate analysis showed that the most significant factor for satisfaction with sexual relations was how everyday activities were valued, and being a cohabitant explained some additional variation.

CONCLUSION:

Previous research indicates that the mental health care services largely neglect sexual problems among people with mental illness, and the findings may provide additional knowledge that may be used in the support of this target group.

PMID:
19617283
DOI:
10.1177/0020764008101635
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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8.
Autism. 2008 Nov;12(6):607-26. doi: 10.1177/1362361308097118.

Emotion recognition in faces and the use of visual context in young people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

Author information

1
North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, UK. barry.wright@nyypct.nhs.uk

Abstract

We compared young people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with age, sex and IQ matched controls on emotion recognition of faces and pictorial context. Each participant completed two tests of emotion recognition. The first used Ekman series faces. The second used facial expressions in visual context. A control task involved identifying occupations using visual context. The ability to recognize emotions in faces (with or without context) and the ability to identify occupations from context was positively correlated with both increasing age and IQ score. Neither a diagnosis of ASD nor a measure of severity (Autism Quotient score) affected these abilities, except that the participants with ASD were significantly worse at recognizing angry and happy facial expressions. Unlike the control group, most participants with ASD mirrored the facial expression before interpreting it. Test conditions may lead to results different from everyday life. Alternatively, deficits in emotion recognition in high-functioning ASD may be less marked than previously thought.

PMID:
19005031
DOI:
10.1177/1362361308097118
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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9.
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.

Author information

1
St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
16287704
DOI:
10.1177/1362361305057871
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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10.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2001 Mar;42(3):309-16.

Exploring the cognitive phenotype of autism: weak "central coherence" in parents and siblings of children with autism: II. Real-life skills and preferences.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, UK.

Abstract

Information on everyday life activities and preferences in both social and nonsocial domains was obtained from parents and children who had taken part in an experimental study of central coherence. Comparisons were made between parents who had a son with autism, parents with a dyslexic son, and families without a history of developmental disorder, as well as the male siblings in these families. Data on everyday preferences and abilities were elicited by means of an experimental questionnaire. Significant group differences in social and nonsocial preferences were found, suggesting that some parents showed similarities with their son with autism, in preference for nonsocial activities and ability in detail-focused processing. A similar experimental questionnaire, completed by parents on behalf of their sons, discriminated between autism group probands and controls, but did not differentiate sibling groups. The relevance of the nonsocial items to central coherence is discussed in the light of the findings in Part I: autism parents who reported more autism-related nonsocial (but not social) preferences, tended to show a piecemeal processing style on the experimental tasks.

PMID:
11321200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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