Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Occupational Therapy

Advisor

Tammy Bickmore OTD, OTR/L

Abstract

The focus of this evidence-based project was on the transition process for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to higher education and employment; specifically, how the University of Southern Maine can support individuals with autism spectrum disorder as they transition to higher education and employment. Those with ASD have several risk factors such as decreased communication and executive functioning skills. These skills and further related skills are linked to negative post school outcomes. An increasing number of the population with ASD are enrolling in post-secondary education, but many do not finish due to a lack of support at this level of education. Individuals with autism are less likely to obtain meaningful employment and are more likely to be underemployed and underpaid. The literature supported implementing a peer mentoring program by the MOT students as at-risk students transition into post-secondary education and into the workforce which should include social skills training and interview training. Furthermore, the literature suggested these training modules should be completed in the environments in which these skills are performed. Contributing to the available body of knowledge related to peer-mentoring and performance of students with ASD in college settings would benefit students with ASD who are entering college and the workforce.

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