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Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S. According to some estimates, as many as 1 in 88 children have autism. autismThis means that, if you haven’t already, you’re likely to come into contact with someone with autism spectrum disorder in your profession. This is the first in a series of posts that will appear this month to recognize Autism Awareness Month.

By Maryellen Daston

Project SEARCH, based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is joining forces with New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) to create an autism-specific vocational intervention.

The goal is to improve employment outcomes for youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The intervention will combine autism-specific best-practice supports into a single package that can be incorporated in the Project SEARCH model of high school transition.

Project SEARCH is a widely used model for high school transition that was developed at Cincinnati’s in 1996 and has now expanded to over 270 program sites worldwide. It is a highly collaborative model that was designed to improve employment prospects for young people with a broad range of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Project SEARCH is not specifically designed for young people with autism, but many youth with autism have participated in Project SEARCH since its inception. Currently, approximately 18% of all young people in Project SEARCH have autism, with a 63% estimated rate of competitive employment for this group.

This is an excerpt from a story that appeared in the April 2014 Job Training & Placement Report. For a free copy, go to the “Job Training Professionals” and “Free Trial” links at http://www.impact-publications.com.

For more information on the NYCA, visit http://www.nyc4a.org.

Find out more about Project SEARCH through the book, High School Transition that Works! Lessons Learned from Project SEARCH, Brookes Publishing, or visit