This study used nationally representative data to describe the prevalence and correlates of work experiences among high school students with autism who received special education. Four in tenstudents with autism experienced any type of work (community-based, school-sponsored, paid or unpaid) within a given year—significantly fewer than peers with and without disabilities. Rates of paid work among students with autism were comparable to students with intellectual disability (ID)but half the rate of non-special education peers. Among youth with autism, significant correlates of having work experiences included being white, parent participation in transition planning, and functional skills including navigation. Fostering a variety of early work experiences should be a key goal of disability employment policy at federal and state levels.

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