Helping Your Neurodiverse Student Get a Job: A Guide for Parents

Helping Your Neurodiverse Student Get a Job: A Guide for Parents

Helping Your Neurodiverse Student Get a Job: A Guide for Parents

Helping Your Neurodiverse Student Get a Job

A first job is a huge milestone and an important learning experience for any teen. For neurodiverse students, finding and starting their first job can be even more transformative, offering them a chance to develop resilience, social skills, and confidence.

Preparing for the Job Search

Parents can start by helping their teens set both short-term and long-term employment goals. This involves understanding the type of work they enjoy and breaking down large goals into manageable steps.

  1. Identify Interests and Strengths: Discuss favorite activities and skills with your teen.
  2. Set Employment Goals: Help your teen set realistic and positive goals, such as finding a part-time job or gaining specific experience.
  3. Build a Resume: Work together on creating a resume that highlights your teen’s strengths and experiences.
  4. Practice Interviews: Conduct mock interviews to help your teen prepare for real job interviews.

Knowing Their Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, including with employment opportunities. It is important for teens to understand their rights and how to navigate around their disabilities. This can include the employer making legally-required accommodations tailored to individual needs.

Examples of Adjustments:
  • Sensory Accommodations: Allowing the use of noise-canceling headphones or sunglasses to prevent sensory overload.
  • Written Instructions: Providing tasks and instructions in written form to improve clarity.
  • Quiet Spaces: Designating a quiet area for breaks and emotional regulation.
  • Flexible Hours: Offering flexible work schedules to accommodate different needs.

Local Support

Many organizations are available to support neurodiverse individuals in finding and maintaining employment. The following Bay area support programs offer free help for gaining employment, keeping employment, and advocacy.

  • WorkAbility I program—Students ages 16-22 who have an active IEP may qualify to work with an Employment Specialist.
  • California Employment Offices—For any person with a disability.
  • Regional Centers—Students who qualify for support through the Regional Center are partnered with many programs that help students with disabilities gain job support and experience.

We Want Every Student to Succeed

Helping neurodiverse students find jobs is a journey that involves understanding their strengths, exploring suitable job types, making reasonable adjustments, and utilizing available support. At SOS4Students, we’re committed to providing resources and guidance to help every student succeed.

Got Questions?

If you have questions about workshops, coaching, or other ways in which we can help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (510) 531-4767 or .

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