I am a Social Work professional whose expertise is working with the Intellectually Disabled and Autistic Population. I love my job. My sole job is to provide resources, education, and advocacy for this steady growing population. Autism affects one in 68 births(CDC, 2014).
Working with the Autistic Populations has taught me:
It is not about me
What I want for my clients is very different from what they want for themselves. Many times in the field, professionals who work with clients look at the result versus looking at the hear and now. I have learned to listen what is said and sometimes what is not said.
Providing opportunities. It is important to exercise the ability to choose. Providing options are the best way for people to find out what they like and do not like and it also helps create more conversation about many other things.Choice making is a skill I feel is not exercised enough with this population. http://www.pinterest.com/autismclassroom/visual-supports-for-an-autism-classroom/
Are proper supports in Place
What is needed for this Autistic individual to maintain a ” normal” life is the question asked and how do we as a professionally supportive community help create this world for this person? Will the individual need Vocational Rehabilitation because their goal is to earn competitive wages? Whether the person’s goal is to live alone, will this person need the assistance of a Supported Living Coach? Will this need appropriate guidance for activities of daily living such as medication management, making the doctor appointment, meal preparation, and grocery shopping? What about socialization and community-based outings? Will the individual need someone to help integrate them into the community?
I help coordinate and maintain services for the individual, who likes making the lives of Autistic Individuals a little better.