As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren’t finding employment.
Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning, recent research shows 40 percent don’t find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience.
“When we learned that last year — that about 40 percent of people were never getting employment or continuing their education — we wondered, ‘Why is that, and what happens to them?’
An estimated 50,000 people on the spectrum enter adulthood every year. Face-to-face job interviews can be a challenge for many, Long says, and some engage in repetitive behaviors, which can seem odd to the uninitiated.
But those idiosyncrasies sometimes mask hidden talents, she says — like intense focus, or a facility with numbers and patterns.