Ohio autism vocational services

Study: Access to Ohio Autism Vocational Services Key to Success

One of the reasons our services for people with autism don’t cut off at the arbitrary age of adulthood is because our Northeast Ohio speech, ABA and occupational therapists recognize that success means ongoing support. A recent study bolsters the theory behind our practice at Therapy and Wellness Connection. Researchers at Drexel University found that youths who lack access to Ohio autism vocational services have greater difficulty finding and maintaining employment – and thus achieving independence.

The university’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute analyzed Ohio autism vocational services availability, as well as those in several other states, using data from the U.S. Department of Education to determine the extent to which disparate access impacts long-term success.

What they discovered was troubling: Despite youth with autism being eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation and the implementation of these services as early as possible proven (ideally starting in secondary school) to boost long-term independence, the likelihood of actually receiving those services varied widely from state-to-state.

Availability of Autism Vocational Services Widely Disparate

For example, while almost 90 percent of those deemed eligible for vocational autism services in Pennsylvania were enrolled in a program almost as soon as eligibility was determined, only less than half of those eligible were receiving any at all in New Jersey. In Montana, just 10 percent of children with autism start vocational programming in high school, compared to 77 percent of those in Oklahoma.

As our Ohio autism vocational services coordinators in Brecksville can explain, these programs are covered by a combination of state and federal funds, as distributed by each respective state agency. The U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states those with significant physical or mental impairment that results in significant problems with employment (preparing, finding, keeping or retaining) shall receive vocational services. Many children with autism meet this qualifier.

This new analysis, published in the Journal for Autism and Developmental Disorders, noted what Therapy and Wellness Connection’s Northeast Ohio autism vocational services team knows well: Early, long-term access to these programs is indicative of whether individuals with autism can land a job – and keep it.

Of the 51,000 young people with autism who completed autism vocational services from 2014 to 2015, there was a 60 percent disparity in employment rates between those in states that prioritized these services with their funding dollars and those that did not.

We Offer Ohio Autism Vocational Services That Work!

As Ohio autism vocational services providers, we recognize many states struggle with difficult funding decisions, and administrators are concerned about ensuring they are using dollars wisely. This is all the more reason we MUST invest in vocational services for children and adults with autism. Failure to do so is going to cost us all more in the long-run. Those who cannot attain and retain gainful employment are more likely to become reliant on social service safety nets, like Supplemental Security Income and others. They will be consuming tax dollars rather than generating them.

Vocational services for youth with disabilities in Brecksville can help put you on a more promising road to success.

Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – is a pediatric therapy center providing speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and ABA therapy to children with special needs in Northeast Ohio. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email. Serving Brecksville, Akron, Cleveland and surrounding communities in Northeast Ohio.

Additional Resources:

For Youth with Autism, Where You Live Matters: Study of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Across States, April 15, 2019, Drexel University

More Blog Entries:

Children “Thrive” at Inclusive Brecksville Summer Camp: Open House 4/14, April 12, 2019, Brecksville Autism Vocational Services Provider Blog