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Browsing by Subject "Työhön osallistuminen"

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  • Vesterinen, Veera (2019)
    Work ability is a less frequently studied area of functioning among people of autism spectrum disorder, even if research has shown its significance for an individual’s quality of life in adulthood. Several qualitative and quantitative studies have shown that high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder encounter severe challenges in achieving successful employment. In this study, my aim is to describe factors that are associated with work participation of high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Previous studies have indicated that the employment rate of this population is relatively low when taking into account their cognitive skills and academic success. Studies on the employment rate of this population have failed, however, to explain which factors form barriers to employment and how individuals subjectively interpret these barriers. Fewer studies have researched factors that have had positive effects on their employment. I collected the research data by carrying out six (n=6) interviews with adults with a clinical diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder without comorbid intellectual disability. The interviews consisted of open-ended questions; meaning that the interviewees were expected to describe their experiences following ready-made themes. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. The interviewees’ descriptions of employment experiences varied. I examined separately the experiences of attaining and of keeping employment. Individual’s difficulties in social interaction and communication and the current labour market practices prevented successful attainment of employment. Support that was adjusted according to their individual needs as well as employers’ non-discriminatory recruitment procedures promoted the attainment of employment. Major factors that prevented interviewees from successfully keeping a job were difficulties in social interaction and communication, limitations in psychological and cognitive functioning, and unsuited working environments. Arrangements, which took into account their personal functioning had supported the keeping of employment. This study shows that we can understand more deeply the quality of life of the high-functioning adults within this population by exploring the work life experiences. The results obtained in this qualitative study describe factors that are associated with labour participation of otherwise high-functioning adults. The data also points out the need to develop individually designed support for this group to attain and keep a job. There is also a significant need for further education for organizations, employers and stakeholders regarding autism spectrum disorders.