All Kinds of News for October 10, 2018
TechieForLife (TFL), a program designed to help young adults with learning differences like Autism, has been working to bring awareness of the issues faced after school and services end for adults with Autism after high school. It is estimated that 85% of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed or underemployed. TFL Executive Director Jason Grygla attended two recent events to address the needs of an estimated 500,000 teens (50,000 of which graduate each year) that will be entering adulthood and aging out of school based services over the next decade.
Affecting all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Jason Grygla was honored to present at the Arizona Autism Coalition Annual Conference 2018 on “Autism Career and Self-reliance After Age 21.” In his presentation, he discussed how to understand, prepare and approach effective transition into adulthood through research and anecdotal experiences. Some of the topics he covered included barriers to employment, maximizing ability, minimizing weakness, planning, education, finances, mentoring, and trends for "adulting autists."
Jason Grygla and TFL Career Coach Jeremy Creager also attended the ”2nd Annual Autism After 21 Breakfast” for business leaders and supporters of adults with autism sponsored by the Madison House Foundation, in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to Madison House, “When the abilities of adults on the spectrum are recognized, our workplaces benefit and our society benefits.” Their goal is to help these individuals gain the self-esteem and value that results from being employed.
According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), 3.5 million Americans live with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with a rate that has dramatically increased over the last decade to become the fastest growing developmental disability, yet most underfunded, with 1 out of 42 boys and 1 out of 189 girls diagnosed with ASD. More than half the young adults with ASD remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education in the two years following high school. This is a lower rate than that of other young adults with disability categories like learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities or speech-language impairment despite that almost half (44%) of children with ASD have average to above average intellectual ability. There are many other neurodiverse students not on the spectrum who also need extra supports and services into adulthood not included in these statistics, resulting in large social and financial issues facing societies across the globe.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, young adult, residential and licensed vocational school located in St. George, Utah. Dubbed "Silicon Slopes South," beautiful Southern Utah is home to one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the U.S. Neurodiverse students who need a safe social and emotional environment gain important life skills, mentoring and a college track or marketable technology training, leading to internship/job placement through TFL's close private sector partnerships. TechieForLife gives students a place to belong and the supports to succeed.