I’ve been reviewing The Autism Job Club by Michael S. Bernick and Richard Holden about the impact of adults with autism moving into the workforce. It discusses what has changed in the employment field and offers resources and strategies to assist those on the spectrum, their families and also anyone that is interested in finding their place in a more competitive job market. It shares personal struggles and difficulties in job searching as well as how important this issue is to the broader community.
There are seven parts to the book that cover multiple chapters of importance. Here is a very short outline of each segment.
- Part 1: The Six Autism Employment Strategies goes into detail about how The Autism Job Club came together, their journey, a bit about the participants and what you’ll find later in the book.
- Part 2: The Adult Autism Community in the United States Today and It’s Employment Status features the numbers, how autism appears to the public conscious, the employment and unemployment of those on the spectrum and personal stories of job searches.
- Part 3: The Art of the Autism Job Coach talks about the evolving job world, mastering job searching in the internet age as well as networks and support.
- Part 4: Autism, Technology, and the Growing Internet Economy Employment covers autism and the technological advantage, plus different types of internet economies that are growing and what they mean to the autism community.
- Part 5: Autism and the Practical Economy discusses autism-focused businesses, hiring initiatives and the movement to improve wages.
- Part 6: Autism and Employment for the More Severely Impacted discusses supported work through micro-businesses, mainstream workplaces as well as supported workshops.
- Part 7: Lifelong Learning, Workplace Culture, and the Future of the Autism Job Club goes over the importance of retraining, refreshing and upgrading new skills for those on the spectrum and where the Autism Job Club goes from here.
It’s really difficult for many of us to consider the future of our children when they reach adulthood and “age out” as it were. There are so many individual struggles that must be overcome in order for many people with autism to simply go to a one-on-one interview. The Autism Job Club is not only an essential resource to help, but a glimpse of hope for our families and (I hope) a call to action in the broader community. I honestly encourage anyone and everyone to pick up their own copy and/or offer one to a family or business that is struggling with the new normal.