Upfront Strategies  (second in a series about career development for youth with autism)

By Karen Steffan

Upfront strategies retain predictability in planning and in implementing supports. Upfront strategies include preparing the person for meetings by providing them with an agenda, or perhaps giving them the authority to decide who will attend a meeting and where the meeting will take place. Other examples would include providing photos of a work environment and interview office to the person before going on the actual appointment or interview.

Upfront strategy means that you literally plan “upfront” for predictability to be built in for any transition, new learning experiences, and new employment situations. Understanding the needs of the individual in terms of sensory needs, interests, and preferences gives the service provider clues as to what specific strategies could be used to help the person through activities that cause stress and anxiety. When planning, always look for ways to empower the person and thereby use the person’s energy for goal attainment, rather than using their energy to cope with new and stressful situations.

Thursday: Knowing the Person’s Communication Style

Link to Autism Awareness Month:  http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/national-autism-awareness-month/