5 Things All Youth Leaving School Should Be Able to Say About their Work Readiness

Every young person leaving school wants to have a job or go to college.

Nationally we are in state of  youth employment crises. The situation is so complex, it isn’t just one variable. Yet one approach may give youth the leverage they need for employment, the personal and social capability training to adapt through adversity.

5 Things All Youth Leaving School Should Be Able to Say About their Work Readiness

1. I found it isn’t important to dwell on what I don’t have (my limitations) but to see what I  can do with what I have (exploring strengths, from an expansive approach).

2. I explored, reflected, and discovered my strengths for my best career options. I learned to see how certain careers are a good match to my strengths and interests.

3. I learned about my challenges and the tools I can use to keep me focused, on track, and adaptable to change.

4. Using Reflective Practice, I  took part in a group setting on how to face workplace adversity and discovered I always have options that I can choose for next steps in self-advocacy.

5. I learned about my own self-awareness and why self-awareness is important to getting hired,  to keeping a job, to adapt socially, to have safety and well-being, and to move toward future goals. 

Learning and practicing self-awareness and self-advocacy is not only important to the student, but this groundwork is also important to employers who want to recruit people with skills they need.

What Employers Want

Employers want to hire youth with skills in personal and social awareness to include empathy, ability to work with others, and integrity.

Employers want more support in getting young people “work-ready”.  Nearly nine in 10 employers feel that school leavers are not ready for work. They claim, youth often lack work experience in  communication and teamwork skills.  Employers express that youth don’t know how to behave professionally in a work environment. 

According to John Irons, managing director for global markets with the Rockefeller Foundation, employers are asking for assistance in recruitment, assessment, and support to address entry-level talent challenges and to improve employment outcomes for those facing barriers to workplace, such as diverse populations and disability

Give every student the leverage they need for employment success by offering self-awareness development and self-advocacy practice, so  the gap to the youth employment crises narrows.

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What Gets Between Youth and Their Employment Potential?

After decades of teaching youth with learning disabilities and researching what youth with autism spectrum need to make better work adaptations, Dr. Jackie Marquette discovered what it takes to help youth rise to employment. The keys are guiding youth to see their skills and interests from a wide range of strengths, personalized supports,  training in social emotional awareness development, and plenty of experiences. These are the keys to all youth making adaptations. She has an adult son with autism and has walked the walk, with ups and downs, failure and successes. Trent had employment at Meijer, a retail store for 13 years with innovative supports and for 19 years Trent has created abstract paintings for his art business. Yet many youth with disabilities, autism spectrum, and youth from urban and rural areas fall short in getting employed because they lack opportunity to identify their skills and prepare for personal/social awareness and self-advocacy.  Very few educators, counselors and employment professionals understand why or how to prevent it.

Click here to get Your Starter Kit

Dr. Jackie Marquette is the founder of the Transition Career Academy teaching online courses and face-to-face workshops. Her trainings are approved for 6 CE’s by CRCC. She has been endorsed by highly recognized colleagues in the disability field for skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Training, and Research. Her extensive experiences span teaching students with learning/developmental disabilities and ‘at risk’, spearheading autism community workplace projects, implementing school district transition programs, consulting and using her own tools, one-to-one 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 the CEO of S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works© DBA Marquette Index, LLC, her program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders, employers, and youth with their advocates to enhance their performance to make a meaningful difference in schools, companies, and the lives of persons with Autism Spectrum/disabilities.

Thank you for reading my blog. Let me know how I may assist you.

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 https://frontline-ireland.com/autism-as-context-blindness-by-peter-vermeulen/ 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?

ONLINE COURSE:

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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.

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Connecting Youth to their Strengths, Careers, and Adaptation

BIO

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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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. 

 drjackie@marquettestrengthsindex.com 

See REVIEWS 

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.

Jackie

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.

 

Connecting ASD Students to Career Options: 20 Tips You Don’t Want to Miss

Let’s start with a 4 question  self-questionnaire. You may  give it to a student or  your son/daughter . 

1. Do you know the career that is right for you?

___ Yes    ___Not Sure     ___No

2. Do you have a unique interest or ability, but don’t know the right course of study or career to pursue?

___ Yes    ___Not Sure     ___No

3. Can you name your personal preferences and emotional strengths?___ Yes    ___Not Sure     ___No

4. Do you have many strengths yet, have challenges such as, social anxiety?___ Yes    ___Not Sure     ___No

20 Career Tips Just for the Student and h/her advocate. I offer you these career tips to find career possibilities. No matter where you are in the process of seeking a career, try these tips to discover more about yourself and the career right for you.

1. Identify your hard skill strengths in cognitive interests. For example, you may enjoy watching a good debate, learn chunks of information quickly, or have an interest in reading and studying social issues, such as civil or gender rights. If any of these sound like you, discover how each of these can be applied to a career of interest. There are many outlets to pursue your strengths. Here is a video just for you.

2. Take note of your unique ways to self express. There are many ways to express your genius capacities. Some include music (singing, playing an instrument, writing music and lyrics), the arts (visual spatial talents to paint, sculpt, or in designing architecture). These strengths can lead to an idea for a business or self employment. Many people have extraordinary talents that fit into a careers and are highly valued in society. Doing what you love can still take work, yet, can be motivating, invigorating, and fun.

3. Personal Preference Strengths (PPS) are especially important to know, even if you have no idea of a career choice or if you already know a specific career interest. For example, you may have a preference to choose a setting that operates on a slower pace over a fast paced setting. PPS are enhancements that can positively support your motivation, participation, or performance in a career. Once understood how to apply your preferences, they offer you predictability and become the fabric of how you work, adapt, and become most effective. Your individual preferences can make all the significant difference to enjoying your job and maintaining a career. I call it ‘in the groove’. A person is most ‘in their groove’ or ‘in their own skin’ when understanding and using their personal preferences at their best. Being aware of your PPS is like having insight into knowing if the job atmosphere is right for you.

4. Your Emotional Strengths-

Emotions drive everything we do. Daniel Goleman claims our emotions are as important to managing a career as  cognitive skills. Having only hard skill ability will not guarantee your effectiveness in a career. It is important to know your best emotional strengths and how to use them to your benefit, such as, interviewing for a job, maintaining a career, or asking for a promotion.

Here are some emotional strengths that you may notice in yourself.  Emotional strengths are valuable to becoming a good employee.

5. Do you avoid letting other people’s opinions change yours? If you answered yes,  you are true to yourself and show a  sense of self-awareness? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No

6. Do you usually manage  well when you are in a group working on a task or a project? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No

If so, you have shown self-awareness.

7. Do you accept correction about how to do a task without reacting defensively? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No  If you answered yes, you show self- regulation.

8. Have you assisted another person when they asked for help on a task? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you are showing to be trustworthy.

9. When faced with an important task, do you get started working on it? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you are taking initiative.

10. Do you admit to yourself or someone else when you have made mistakes on a task? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you are showing that you are conscientious and trustworthy.

11. Have you came to a class or a meeting prepared?

___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you are showing that you are motivated.

12. Have you contributed ideas or work tasks with others on a project? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you have participated well on a team.

13. Have you thanked someone for doing you a favor, such as a teacher or a boss? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you are self-aware about when to show gratitude.

14. Have you helped someone who was struggling and needed assistance? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you were showing  empathy for someone else.

15. Have you found deep meaning and purpose in taking part of  a group, such as, bringing awareness about the global environment, or helping your church feed hungry families?

___ Yes ___Unsure ___No

If you answered yes, you are showing the ability to take part with focused group awareness.

16. Have you shown the unique ability to convince someone to buy something or do something beneficial? If you answered yes, you have shown to have influence with others.

17. Have you  sensed the moods of other people through their body language or facial expressions? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No                  If you answered yes, you have shown a deep social understanding in receptive communication and social awareness.

18. Are you a good listener to someone else you admire?

___ Yes ___Unsure ___No

If you answered yes, you have the ability to build a bond with others.

19. Have you participated with with others on a team or a project?

___ Yes ___Unsure ___No   If you answered yes, you were capable of cooperating and collaborating on a team.

20. Have you asked for help when you had a problem? ___ Yes ___Unsure ___No

If you answered yes, you have shown self-awareness.

Congratulate yourself if you discovered some ways you have self-awareness and social awareness.

Take the Strengths and Career Index   only $9.99.  Use code: Index65

Thank you for reading blog.

Dr. Jackie Marquette

www.marquettestrengthsindex.com

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End Note:

I believe these tools have something unique to bring to the table for youth with ASD. 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. My mission is to pass these tools to people with autism and their advocates to create and live their adult lives their own 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.

Thank you for reading blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing ‘Power Practices’

I am happy and relieved to finally share my new student workbook “Power Practices”. Power Practices Workbook is a curriculum that guides a student through #career exploration with activities that will capture students’ career interests. The latter half of the workbook engages students with real life situations they may encounter during school and on the job. These activities allow the student to safely explore self awareness personally and socially. School personnel and employment specialists will find this to be a valuable tool for career readiness and school transition. Parents will find relief during school transition and post high school transition.  I wrote it to be engaging for students and young adults who want a job they like or a career path to pursue. Much more to come! Power Practices Available on Amazon

Blog: Twenty-five Effective Career Preparations that Promote Autism Spectrum Employment

Twenty-Five Effective Career Preparations that Promote Autism Spectrum Employment

Reprinted by permission from Different Brains.

Our Youth with ASD

Our youth with ASD can become valuable resources in the workforce for the 21st century.

Dr. Jackie Marquette

Marquette Index, LLC.

Creator of the Marquette Strengths and Career Index 

Research | Consultant | Speaker | 4 time veteran of adult transition (39 year son with autism)

502 417-6063

drjackiemarquette@gmail.com

www.marquettestrengthsindex.com

Connecting ASD and DD to their strengths, careers, and well-being!