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A strength-based approach in autism

The employment rate for individuals with autism is lower than all other categories of people with disability and without disability. This is surprising considering the valuable strengths and talents that individuals with autism demonstrate. While interventions should target employers, helping to recognize strengths over deficits, it is also thought that strength-based programs for adolescents can help build employability skills. The Curtin Autism Research Group has focused research on developing a strength-based technology program for adolescents with autism.

The research group aims to help develop a strength-based program through its partnerships with Autism Academy of Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) CoderDojo, Autism West and Firetech Camp Australia. The organizations provide opportunity for adolescents to learn new computer coding skills, robotics and game development. Data was gathered from all three organizations to create recommendations for delivering a strength-based approach. The recommendations can be used by health professionals to develop their own strength-based technology clubs for adolescents with autism.

The recommendations were presented at the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) 2018 annual meeting in Rotterdam, where the Curtin Autism Research Group formed part of an international panel discussing the strengths of individuals with autism.

To learn more about a strength-based approach in autism please consider attending the Curtin Autism Open Day on Sunday, 9th September 2018, or contact Matthew Jones.