Private: Blog: Connecting Youth to their Strengths, Work, and Emotional Adaptations

What Youth Need In Job Readiness For Job Effectiveness: Autism and Social and Emotional Challenges

What Makes up Job Readiness?

Do you wonder why youth with autism or developmental disabilities often fail to make transitions to a job or higher education? Professionals have prepared youth with life skill practice and career exploration tasks yet, far too many young adults continue to lose their jobs or drop out of college. Added to these outcomes are youth who were turned down entry into a job development program because their needs appeared to be too great. This is a disadvantage because often these young adults when employed in the right job match with the right supports make good employees. Many young adults with autism struggle with verbal communication and social and emotional challenges. Yet, what is required is our deeper understanding of how subtle personal supports, self-awareness development, and self-advocacy practice can enable employees with autism to get hired and maintain their jobs with both managerial and employee satisfaction.

We can be grateful for the bright spots, that is, the companies and small businesses that have successfully hired youth with autism. Yet, we have more work to do. For decades there has been an underemployment of youth with autism, thus, we have not adequately served this group.

The possibilities to this crises can be seen as an analogy to a two-sided coin. One side of the coin represents a company’s progressive leadership placing value on subtle supports and innovative employment management. The other side of the coin represents students’ development of deeper learning into recognizing personal strengths, self-awareness development, and self-advocacy practice for on-the-job adaptation. Although company leadership is a significant topic, this article focuses on the latter of the two.

I introduce to you five career development actions that are missing in current work readiness programs, in which youth need preparation:

First, youth greatly benefit in discovering who they are, their interests, and capabilities. To prepare youth, current work-readiness programs focus on life skill practice and experience working on different jobs. There are many domains for life-skills, but under the domain of employment, one example is learning to take the bus to work. Learning life skills and working in job tryouts are necessary. Yet, emphasizing only life skills and only job tryouts are ’simply’ not enough to prepare youth for on-the-job capabilities.

Imagine a new employee on a job and not prepared to know the ‘next steps’ to take when unpredictable things happen. For example, Sarah, an employee with autism was working on a task with Sue, a coworker. Sue later walked away and left Sarah with the majority of the task to be completed by the end of the shift. Sue reminded Sarah she had better finish the rest of the task or she would be in trouble with the boss. Sarah with much anxiety rushed through the task and made many mistakes. The next day, Bob the manager asked Sarah about the unfinished sloppy task. When Sarah didn’t look at him and stood nervously not responding, Bob asked her to look at him. Sarah was unable to explain because of her anxiety and inability to give eye contact.

Consider Phillip, an employee with high functioning autism was unaware that the boss made a sudden temporary change to his regular routine. The manager or team leader forgot to inform him. With the lack of materials and no managers available, Phillip decided to walk the perimeter of the building to fill in his time. The next day Phillip was reprimanded by his boss and warned about leaving the building when he was supposed to be working in an area with another team. Within all the uncertainty, Phillip’s high anxiety caused an inability to explain his view or to self-advocate.

These are actual examples of employees with autism and on-the-job experiences. With all their on-the-task capabilities, they ‘fell down’ with abrupt workplace changes, managerial misunderstanding, coworker limitations, and bullying. Sarah and Phillip were not prepared to handle unpredictable situations, they lacked self-awareness and self-advocacy development to take proper ‘next steps’ that could land them into a favorable outcome.

Imagine a student perusing a smorgasbord of scenarios that highlights strengths from four categories. In participation, the student gains self-awareness about noticing personal strengths to relate to. These are assets a student may or may not have ever acknowledged within h-herself. Gaining knowledge about one or more of h-her strengths is powerful.

Second, when youth see from a career list a real job option that resonates with them, they get curious or interested. Furthermore, when students see possibilities of how their strengths can be applied to a career or job, they feel a connection. Finding a career interest is powerful. 

Third, when students get familiar with their strengths and practice in job tryouts or other experiences, they get acquainted to practicing a new task in a safe space. Thus, when students truly know their personal assets, they are more likely to feel content, safe, and ready to pursue with interest a career development program. Feelings of contentment and safety is powerful.

Fourth, youth benefit in learning how to use adaptation tools to enhance on-the-job performance. With these tools, the student can practice what to do when set backs or obstacles get in the way of job performance. These tools can relieve the student’s anxiety in order to self-manage an uneasy task, setting, or event. Adaptation tools can create feelings of safety. With tools, students gain courage that help them create clarity and diminish anxiety. Having clarity is powerful.

Fifth, youth rely on meaningful self-awareness practice for workplace adaptation. Underlying the concept ‘meaningful’ are a student’s emotions of safety and capability. When daily life brings abrupt circumstances that demand their attention, many youth experience emotions of uncertainty, frustration, and anxiety. When self-awareness development is part of the pre-planning phases of career readiness, the young adult practices: decision-making to become more effective in the moment and on the job. Self-awareness is a necessary action to take a ‘next step’ that lead to favorable outcomes.

When self-awareness development is not part of the work readiness program, harmful outcomes may unfold, such as the examples given of Phillip and Sarah. Being effective in the workplace boils down to these four:

  1. feeling capable,
  2. feeling emotionally safe, and
  3. feeling satisfied about job/career tasks, and
  4. understanding when to self-advocate, even if reaching out to another person for help. Moving through uncertainty to take part on one’s own behalf requires courage and can be self-empowering to student. Self-empowerment is powerful. 

In summary, these five practices make up a student readiness program that extends beyond life skills and job tryouts. These practices come from S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works©. Using best practices from psychology and disability literature and 15 years of my own qualitative research, I codified this system, S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works© (SW).

SW includes personal strength knowledge, self-awareness development, adaptation tools, development of self-advocacy for on-the-job capability.

Do you want to learn more?

Take this professional development training:

How to Engage Youth to Discover Dream Careers and Emotionally Adapt

Accredited by The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, CRCC.

Professionals receive 6 CEUs for online self-study 5 CEU’s for face-to-face workshop training.

To see curriculum and objectives for both: the self-study and face-to-face workshop go to:

To receive a $50.00 discount for each learner self-study contact me,

To receive a workshop training, contact me,

S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works

Jackie M. Marquette, PhD. Leadership Autism Employment Coach | Founder of The Autism Transition Career Academy CRCC Accredited Training Program | Speaker & Trainer | Author

S.A.F.E.T.Y. Work(s) DBA Marquette Index, LLC. 502 417-6063




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Resources: Self-study and face-to-face workshop: The Strengths and Career Index: Power Practices

Dr. Jackie Marquette has observed and discovered that youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders can rise to employment, apply outstanding talents, and enjoy everyday capabilities. Yet, when youth are not given opportunities to practice self-awareness and daily self-advocacy, their emotional adaptation fails to develop. When this happens very few understand how to prepare, support, and maintain youth with autism for the workplace.

Dr. Jackie Marquette has been endorsed by highly recognized colleagues for skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Training, and Research. Her extensive experiences span teaching students, spearheading autism community workplace projects, implementing school district transition programs, consulting and using her own tools with youth seeking employment through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. She researched and interviewed over 800 youth with autism and their advocates, professionals, family members. As a founder and CEO of S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works© DBA Marquette Index, LLC. Her S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance their performance and make a meaningful difference in their schools, companies, and the lives of persons with autism and their families.

Teaching Youth with Social Emotional Challenges to Adapt: Transition for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Hello Advocates,

Your work is important to students’ transition.

Although many have strengths and capabilities to apply to a career or a job, their social anxiety or fear often prevents job/career goal achievement.

One of the most important things a student must show in order to get and keep a job/career, or go to college is

a  d  a  p  t  a  t  i  o  n.  

I created tools to help youth emotionally adapt to workplace settings.

I want to give you my ebook.                                                                                                 Autism Spectrum Career Builder.

Just click on this link to download it for Free.

You get:

One User-friendly strength based tool                                                                                     with 43 actions to drive student career development, plus much more.

To my knowledge there are no transition employment models that exist on autism, capability, and emotional adaptation.

If you want to learn more about my integrative strength and emotional adaptation tools to use in your work, promoting their adaptation, then 

take a look at this Online Course 

“How to Engage Youth to Discover Careers and Adapt.” 

Receive 6 CEUs. 

This course is accredited by The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, CRCC.

To see course details:

I am available for you, email or call me.

My best



Jackie M. Marquette, PhD.

Marquette Index, LLC.

Career Strategist | Program Development | Course Design/Teacher | Author | Veteran of Adult Transition



GET FREE STUFF and updates by Jackie



Autism Spectrum Career Builder.  

Just click on this link to download it for Free.   

You get:

One User-friendly strength based tool 

with 43 actions to drive student career development, plus much more.

To my knowledge there are no transition employment models that exist on autism, capability, and emotional adaptation. 

If you want to learn more about my integrative emotional adaptation tools to use in your work, promoting their adaptation, then 

take a look at this Online Course 

“How to Engage Youth to Discover Careers and Adapt.” 

Receive 6 CEUs. 

This course is accredited by The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, CRCC. 

To see course details:

Save $50.00, use discount code: backtoschool50off

I am available for you, just email or call me.

My best



Jackie M. Marquette, PhD.

Marquette Index, LLC.

Career Strategist | Program Development | Course Design/Teacher | Author | Veteran of Adult Transition



GET FREE STUFF and updates by Jackie


Making Career Development a ‘Work of Art’ | For All Youth Including Autism and ‘At Risk’ |Dr. Jackie M. Marquette

Youth with Social Emotional Challenges Pic 1 (

Many students and adults who have social and emotional challenges  such as, autism, do want to work and certainly have the capability to perform well on jobs that match their strengths.

Yet preparing youth for a career or job isn’t an exact science. Rather, I see it more as an art form, because an employment design is so personalized. Consider these areas: a. identifying a strengths and matching these to an environment, b. structure, and c. people in the workplace (acceptance), and tools for communication and adaptation. Integrating all these to meet the student requires a creative approach, which I see as a ‘work of art’. Just as creating a sculpture or painting on canvas is a ‘work of art’ so is the design of supports that personally meet a person’s needs to perform on the job.

When students take part in career and college readiness programs, the goals are set to assist students to get into a job, career, or college. Yet these programs are not enough to assist students with social and emotional challenges, thus, the programs are incomplete. For example, it is no longer sufficient to place youth in jobs or careers based upon their capability to merely do a task. When considering the criteria to choose a student as a client for a career development program, educators and counselors must be cautious on how they accept students. Criteria for program entry should not be based upon a student’s cognitive functioning, test scores/academic success, independent levels, or behavior. These criteria do not serve youth well, because these factors are incomplete to meeting students’ needs to emotionally adapt.

Rather, it is crucial to design programs that emphasize individualized plans with supports and tools that help the student gain preparation, a. self-awareness, b. self-advocacy training, c. the negotiation of a daily routine to manage on-the-job capabilities, and d. team collaboration with coworkers. A creative design with these elements becomes the rich groundwork which can lead to a student’s experience of job satisfaction and where adaptation can unfold and blossom.

I discovered when youth receive preparation for career readiness through the lens of an design of an art form, it can make a positive difference to student capability and adaptation over time. I offer eleven employment design processes that get youth involved creatively and committed to their life and career possibilities.

  1. When students are guided and supported to deeply explore career pathways, they are eagerly taking part in curiosity and the art of imagining possible work options that may become a good match to their interests and strengths.
  2. When students experience job try outs, they are in the art and practice of discovering tasks they like or don’t like, experiencing environments that appeal to them or not, identifying settings they enjoy and find overall self-satisfaction,all within exposure to multiple workplace environments. 
  3. When students make mistakes or have emotional set backs within their career search, they are in the act of experiencing and with guidance reflecting about the effects of their choice-making. 
  4. When youth feel acceptance with assistance to identify personalized supports to move through challenges, they are involved in the process of choosing and implementing. This is the art of building self-awareness, self-determination, and self-advocacy. 
  5. When students learn and practice basic self-regulation skills, they are making personal choices to create favorable outcomes for themselves, thus, choice-making
  6. When students listen to suggestions or advice from people who see the best in them or from those who have their back, they are taking part in creating their life through accepting connections and mentorship.
  7. When students make a decision about a job or career choice they are creating a vision of how they see themselves in future careers. This is a work-of- art in self-awareness development.
  8. When students take small brave steps forward into their chosen life direction, they are becoming more self-aware through creating the moments of each day.
  9. When students are aware of the power of their own choices, they are pursuing the art of self-determination. 
  10. When students become aware of their problems and must seek out a solution, they are practicing the act of speaking up for themselves. This is true even when youth rely upon a tool or another person to speak up with them. This is the practice and art of self-advocacy.
  11. When students fall down (and they will) and with support and guidance they stand up wounded or scarred, this is artful living. 

Artful living requires artful choice-making. All students should take part in this early career preparation and career development.

Every choice a student makes has an impact, regardless if the circumstance is small or highly important. A student’s progress is created in the moments of choice-making. We must teach students how choice-making is tied so closely to their self-emotional awareness because awareness impacts capability and adaptability. This is artful career preparation in action and S.A.F.E.T.Y Works.



S.A.F.E.T.Y Works(c) (words on image)

S  A recognition of a unique set of strengths and challenges

A  Self-advocacy training fostering emotional self-   

    awareness and

E  Environment exposure with predictability

T  Transforming

Y  Young adults to emotional adaptation, i.e., favorable 

    outcomes employment or college.

THIS ONLINE COURSE for PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT is for teachers, counselors, employment specialists, other professionals

If you need….transition and career implementation training for certification or CEU”s for your career, then take this course. How to Engage Youth to Discover their Dream Career and Adapt. 

Click link to see curriculum and registration

Save $50.00 Discount

Use Coupon Code: backtoschool50off    good through October 15

This course has been approved by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification

Receive 6 CEU’s


Pic 3 (image by Jackie Marquette)

Pic 3: How to Engage Youth o Discover Dream Careers and Adapt (words on image)

-7 Mini-Modules of about 3 hours total viewing time.

-6 downloadable Templates

-2 Assessment Tools, the online Strengths and Career Index© and downloadable  & The Alternative Self-Awareness Assessment© (ASAA). Downloadable

-The Golden Wheel©, & The Predictability and Engagement Timeline©

-Completion: A Student Checklist, A downloadable

-Downloadable Course Workbook (107 pgs)


End Note:

I believe I bring something unique to the career and adulthood readiness table for youth with Autism Spectrum and Social and Emotional Challenges. This work is based upon my research in which I created an expansivestrengths based approach with user-friendly tools to support students interests, emotional self-awareness, and self-advocacy. I call this model SAFETY Works©.

In my research, I listened to the voices of hundreds of persons with autism, their advocate/parents and professionals who worked with these students. I wanted to learn how they searched to find meaning within their lives and discovered or created resources to reach goals and adapt. I used the data to create user-friendly tools to help guide young adults to have their right job/career, training/college, and/or to live both independently andinterdependently.

In my personal experience with my autistic son supporting and guiding him, I learned to listen. Over the years, he taught me how to support his self-determination, self-advocacy and adaptation. He personally experienced many trials and errors with set backs and progress. It hasn’t been a walk in a rose garden, but with supports he walked his own journey and has been a professional practicing accomplished abstract artist now for 17 years.

The tools I offer in S.A.F.E.T.Y Works came out of my work and my life’s experiences and I want to pass them to people with autism their advocates and the professionals who work with them.





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Thank you for taking time to read my article.

Next June, What Will Your Students Say About Their Career Transition Preparation?  | Autism Spectrum and Special Needs | Jackie M. Marquette Ph.D.

Don’t ignore emotional well-being and adaptation in preparing youth with Autism Spectrum and Special Needs for jobs, careers, and college. My article give 5 necessary points.

[Actual Persons]:

An 18-year old male with autism received a scholarship to study chemistry at a prominent university. After 6 weeks, his parents were called to come and get him because he rarely left his room. He was found fearfully curled up in the corner of his dorm room.

A 23-year old male with autism quit his job at a big box store after 15 months of being recognized as a good employee. A new manager failed to inform him about a change that would effect him directly. The sudden change placed the young man with new work tasks and among new unfamiliar coworkers. He didn’t adapt.

A 16 year old female attempted suicide several times because she lived in fear of being bullied. Although she is alright now, she still becomes anxious with the memories that she can’t let go.

Of each one of these case studies, students were not able to emotionally adapt. I believe a gap exists between what students receive and what they need in order to make effective school transitions into the adult world. 

Most school’s career transition programs focus on cognitive levels, academic strengths, and test scores, but these factors don’t prepare youth for the external demands to socially and emotionally adapt in this world.

Numerous studies in Positive Psychology and Disability on decision-making of people with intellectual disability and Autism Spectrum indicate these students exhibit limited social and emotional skills which greatly limits their ability to make decisions. When a student has limitations in making a decision, this greatly impacts their emotional state. Thus, studies indicate a students’ health and safety can be jeopardized, making youth a high risk to suffer harm. 

The Transition Gap: 

Student career effectiveness lies in the gaps of preparation in exploring career interests in safe settings and adapting emotionally to attain career goals.

Here are a five important objectives that may help fill the gap to prepare youth in school career transition programs. 

1. Our youth rely on safe exposure to new settings, new tasks, and new unfamiliar people.

Peter Vermeulen in his article writes about Autism as Context Blindness and indicates an autism friendly environment to be 90% clarity and 10% predictability and 10% normal friendliness. 

Design a plan with the student to take part in a stress-free setting; which may be an event, work setting, or a daily living activity. Include predictable steps for a task and among people who are supportive and encouraging to the student.

2. Youth rely on tools that can create predictability and clarity in order to make good decisions. Design the environment to be clear and well understood so the student can navigate and adapt. 

3. Youth rely upon opportunities to have positive job tryout experiences where they can perform and feel safe. Promote learning within a safe context in order the student can practice and perform. Why? Because when clarity and predictability are in place, the student feels emotions of safety.

4. Youth rely upon self-awareness practice in order to self-advocate. This practice includes a focus on recognition of one’s emotions. The process of self-advocating requires making decisions to move through challenging situations. Create opportunities for student self-awareness practice. Dr. Barry M. Prizant in his book, Uniquely Human: A different way of seeing autism writes that developing self-awareness is one of the top priorities he suggests for parents of children with autism to build success for adulthood. 

Students need to practice recognition of h-her emotions, both low and high. Guide student to reflect upon the bright spots from their experience regardless if the experience was satisfying or unsatisfying. Point out to the student the bright spots and lessons to be learned so the experience can be more positive next time.

5. As a leader/professional set aside time to focus on your own self-awareness. I am far from perfect, but I engage in self-awareness practice daily. Reflect upon your decisions. Note the decisions you made that led to a good outcome, or decisions that turned into less than favorable outcomes with frustrating emotions. Don’t sweep the emotions under the rug. Notice them and the gift they deliver.

I began this article with this question, Next June, What Will Your Students Say About Their Career Transition Readiness? 

As a leader preparing youth for school transition, what do you hope your young person/student will say about their career readiness experiences? What story do you hope they tell about their progress and eagerness to go out into the world of work or college studies?


This course has been approved by the Commission on 

Rehabilitation Counselor Certification 

Receive 6 CEU’s 

How to Engage Youth to Discover Dream Careers and Adapt 

This course is PERFECT for you if you want to get these specific results: To get youth ready for a job/career with tools that promote belief in themselves, enhanced self-awareness, on-the-job capability, self-advocacy and emotional adaptation. I created this course about things I know, and only about things that have been my tools, and my path.

Click link to see curriculum and registration

Receive $50.00 Discount

Use Coupon Code: backtoschool50off





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Connecting Youth to their Strengths, Careers, and Adaptation


Dr. Jackie Marquette, is an Autism Career Strategist, online course creator, researcher, and parent of an adult son with autism. In 2007 she received a Ph.D. from University of Louisville. Jackie has 3 decades of professional experience as a teacher in special education, district transition consultant, consultation with young adults and their families, an autism evaluation service to the clients of Vocational Rehabilitation counselors. She has 4 decades of personal experience guiding and supporting her son who has autism to live a life of well-being and self-determination. The tools she created are powerful and can: 1) assure the student/young adult of their career possibilities, uniqueness, and one-of-a-kind self-expression and, 2) guide and support a student/young adult to take steps to emotionally adapt, progress, and safely pursue a job/career.

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Helping Youth Get Employed | Professional Development | 6 CEU’S

Helping Youth Get Employed | Professional Development | 6 CEU’S

Announcing my ONLINE COURSE: ‘How to Engage Youth to Discover their Dream Career and Adapt’

Are you a counselor, educator, or a parent seeking ways to help youth with Autism Spectrum and special needs access their own blueprint for career preparation?

With this course, you will receive:

-Tools for student matched job/career options:

-Tools to create on-the job predictability for adaptation,

-Tools to create student acceptance in workplaces and community settings,

-Tools for building connections, and

-Checklists and tools to promote self-acceptance, self-advocacy, and self-satisfaction in life.

This course has been approved for 6 CEU Credit Hours by the

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification

See Curriculum and Registration:

Receive  $50.00 Discount

Use Coupon Code: backtoschool50off

For Purchase orders or questions? 

Contact me: Dr. Jackie M. Marquette

Connecting Youth to their Strengths, Careers, and Emotional Adaptation


Jackie 20sec video august 12



9 Ways to Improve Student Transition: Autism Spectrum, Disabilities, and ‘At Risk’

Do you work with students in transition and worry about how they will get or keep a job after high school? This blog will offer new perspective. Briefly I will reveal the problem and next the 9 solutions.

Student transition to a job or college in our society operates on the ‘Vertical Approach’, which is an upward movement from one phase of life to the next. Examples include: high school student to college student, or high school student to employee. But the vertical approach doesn’t work for every student. I introduce to you the ‘Lateral Approach’ to increase transition outcomes.

Problem Revealed
According to data reported in article
more Kentucky high schoolers are graduating, but not prepared for college or the workforce.

Data show 90 percent of Kentucky’s students graduated, but only 60 percent were college or career ready. The numbers were much worse with African-American students and students disabilities, with career readiness rates of 32 percent and 25 percent.

The national level data is equally discouraging for students with disabilities.

Nine Solutions
1. Use ‘a lateral approach, a creative process that applies a step-by-step approach to enable student to make effective transitions. Let me offer an analogy. Just as a car that comes to a dead stop at the end of a street, the driver must use its reverse gear to get out of being stuck. A driver wouldn’t use the reverse to drive all the time, only when needed. The same process can be applied to students with disabilities in transition. We must create Career Readiness (CR) Programs using the ‘lateral approach’ (creative steps) that move h/her forward. For some students, effectiveness in transition is dependent upon an art form, requiring school personnel to think ‘out of the box’. Thus, the ‘vertical approach’ is not eliminated for students, it is only enhanced by the ‘lateral approach’.

How can school personnel use the lateral approach to enhance effective transitions for students with Autism Spectrum, Disabilities, and ‘At Risk’?

2. Use assessments that look beyond academic areas and look into multiple intelligences that draw upon student curiosities about careers and noting their experiences in career exploration.
Drop using a student’s IQ as a criteria to determine if the student can enter and/or benefit from a CR Program.

3. Use tools that reflect a student’s personal preferences and the need for supports to enhance predictability, focus, and on-the-job decision-making.
Drop using a perceived functional cognitive adaptive ability about a student. This perception can lead to denying h-her access to a CR program.

4. Use and practice acceptance that all students can enter and benefit from a CR program.
Drop criteria that denies a student’s entry into CR program based upon h-her family’s low income household or situation.
Drop demographic labels that deny student CR access: students of color, ethnicity, or disability.

5. Use tools that help student self-evaluate their own individuality, strengths, and unique abilities.
Drop academic ability and test scores as criteria for entry into CR programs.
Drop using diagnoses/co-morbidity as a reason a student cannot benefit from a CR program.

6. Use strength-based assessments and see the student’s unique abilities and interests that can lead to a career to explore.
Drop seeing behavior as a criteria to be corrected and changed before a student enters into a CR program. A student’s behaviors may change with new engagement and new interests.

7. Use actions to show that you believe in the student. See student as one who can make strides in a CR program.
Drop judgement that may instill disbelief in h-herself. Your belief about the student having strengths and abilities can motivate the student to initiate or follow through with steps required to get employed and face the on-the-job obstacles. Promote self-determination.

8. Use student self-evaluations to encourage student self-awareness. When the student gains self-awareness with self-advocacy activities, h-she is introduced to safe and effective ways of responding to on-the-job demands or problems. When self-advocacy is practiced, accountability to a job or college can be accomplished.
Drop any perceptions you may have about performance of task skills equals overall employment success. Rather, it is the self-awareness development and self-advocacy training that promotes social and emotional capability to adapt to a job or college.

9. Use the framework of ‘interdependence’ in Career Readiness Programs. Students need to hear from you the professional that we are all interdependent and rely on supports.
Drop the requirement and stigma that they must achieve ‘independence’ in all things. Teach students when they work and contribute among others, they are showing increased ability to perform on the job. We live in a very interdependent world, so should individuals with disabilities recognize that it is acceptable to use ‘interdependence’ to pursue their goals.

1. Teachers/ Professionals/Parents —Do you want your students to know their strengths and careers that match?
Give your students the Strength and Career Index©
for only $9.99 use Discount Code: INDEX65 Go to

2. If you want to learn more about Jackie giving a training to use these unique career readiness tools with curriculum, call me at 502 417-6063 or email me

3. Look for my weekly program on Linked In ‘Autism Interdependence Matters’

Lastly, I look forward in emailing you information about courses I am offering, tools, and videos.

Thank you.
Have a nice day.

Jackie Marquette Ph.D.
Autism Interdependent Strategist

Work Readiness for Students with Autism  Spectrum, Developmental Disabilities, and ‘At Risk’: A Professional Resource Checklist

Work Readiness for Students with Autism  Spectrum, Developmental Disabilities, and ‘At Risk’: A Professional Resource Checklist

Check each one that applies.

1. My student/clients can often see good job/career possibilities for themselves. ___________

2. My student/clients generally rely upon people (natural) supports in the workplace in order to adjust or adapt to their job.  ___________

3. My student/clients generally have challenging behaviors which makes it difficult to identify an appropriate job match.___________

4. Most of my student/clients need structure in order to perform on their job. ___________

5. My student/clients often show a lack of motivation or inspiration to do what it takes to get hired or to keep their job. ___________

6. My student/clients often lack effective ways to speak up for themselves. ___________

7. Most of my student/clients can name 3-5 interests or strengths they see in themselves. ___________

8. I see my student/clients abilities and strengths, but these aren’t an easy match to jobs/careers they can do. ___________

9. Most of my student/clients have a desire to get a job or to go to college. ___________

10. My student/clients have shown anxiety and/or have melt downs in one or more of the following: a. learning a new task, b. working around unfamiliar people, c. in new settings, d. or when changes suddenly occur on the job site. ___________

11. My student/clients usually know the kind of job they want and can do. ___________

12. Many of my student/clients place high demands of ‘independence’ or ‘do it myself’ attitudes in which they have a difficult time measuring up to. ___________

13. Though my student/clients exhibit challenges, they rely on people around them to believe in their abilities and strengths. ___________

If you checked 2 or more of  these numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12  – your students could benefit from S.A.F.E.T.Y. WORKS (c)

I would love to share several tools with you to use with students in your Career Readiness Programs. These tools with curriculum can provide increased insight and clarity in preparing your student/client for Career Readiness/College, Job Development, and Job Maintenance. 


Here is a Free Gift  I want to offer your student/client with Autism Spectrum. Students:

Fun Free Quiz–How well do you know the value of your strengths?

Thank you for reading my blog.


End Note:

I believe I have  something unique to bring to the Career and College Readiness table for youth with Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disabilities. This blog represents a strengths model to support personal preferences and emotional needs, known as SAFETY Works©.

In my research, I listened to the voices of hundreds individuals with autism and their advocate/parents about how they found meaning and how they wanted to live their lives. Over three decades of study and experience, I used the data to create these tools to help people facilitate getting the right job, pursue college, and/or to live interdependently. With personal experience, I have a an adult son with autism who has become an accomplished artist.  He taught me how to support his self-determination, self-advocacy and adaptation. We personally experienced many trials and errors with set backs and progress. I want to pass these tools to people with autism and their advocates to create and live their adult lives their unique way.

Please offer your comments, because I want to hear them. I spend a lot of time writing. If you like my blog and think it can help other people, please share it.

Again thank you for reading blog.