Sheltered workshops for people with disabilities is a concept of debate. Research is showing, though, that providing competitive employment opportunities actually promotes independence and employment skills.
This Disability Scoop post (January 15, 2014) highlights a research study on the outcomes of employment on adults with autism in an employment setting.
Placing adults with autism in more independent work environments may actually help alleviate symptoms of the developmental disorder, researchers say.
In a new study of 153 adults on the spectrum ages 19 to 53, researchers found that where people with autism work appears to influence their development and that employment may play a “therapeutic role” for this group.
“We found that if you put the person with autism in a more independent vocational placement, this led to measurable improvements in their behaviors and daily living skills overall,” said Julie Lounds Taylor of Vanderbilt University’s Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, a lead author of the study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Those wtih greater independence in their work activities exhibited more improvementin symptoms, behavior and daily living skills over the years, the study found.