Preparing my autistic child for the workforce after ITE


This story is taken from the book My Unique Child: A Practical Guide to Raising A Child with Autism. Daniel’s and Peggy’s full names are withheld to protect the identity of the family.

Daniel is autistic and has recently completed his studies at the Institute of Technical Education. His mother, Peggy, talks about his progress as he prepares to enter the workforce.

 As Daniel gets older, he has to enter the workforce when he graduates from school. We have to work out how to manage and balance the demands of daily life and his readiness.

One thing that encourages me is his improvement in expression and communication. Although sometimes it’s still not so clear, he’s able to tell us more things. He’s also able to interact with different people. When the school counsellor or staff asks him questions, he is able to tell them about things that have happened and how he feels. That is progress.

Another area is problem solving. He’s open to discussion, so we can give him suggestions and feedback. Hopefully, through real-life experiences, he can pick up more problem-solving skills. Daily things like asking for help, assessing the situation and changing plans, and borrowing a classmate’s set of notes are very difficult for him. He tends to procrastinate and avoid doing them. It is difficult, but I believe there will continue to be improvement.

My son knows that he has autism. He is comfortable with his own condition and feels that certain traits he has are positive.

He is learning all the time but the progress is slow, so it’s hard in that sense. He’s very sure about what he wants and doesn’t want to do. If he feels that he can’t do it, he won’t do it at all. Trying to force it is counter-productive and causes more problems. It’s a learning process for both sides: The neurotypical side and the autism side.

Read more stories like this in the book My Unique Child: A Practical Guide to Raising A Child with Autism.

Do you have a story of autism or know someone who does? We welcome pitches and submissions. Talk to us.

VoicesJasmine Goh