Youth with Social Emotional Challenges Pic 1 (pixabay.com)
Many students and adults who have social and emotional challenges such as, autism, do want to work and certainly have the capability to perform well on jobs that match their strengths.
Yet preparing youth for a career or job isn’t an exact science. Rather, I see it more as an art form, because an employment design is so personalized. Consider these areas: a. identifying a strengths and matching these to an environment, b. structure, and c. people in the workplace (acceptance), and tools for communication and adaptation. Integrating all these to meet the student requires a creative approach, which I see as a ‘work of art’. Just as creating a sculpture or painting on canvas is a ‘work of art’ so is the design of supports that personally meet a person’s needs to perform on the job.
When students take part in career and college readiness programs, the goals are set to assist students to get into a job, career, or college. Yet these programs are not enough to assist students with social and emotional challenges, thus, the programs are incomplete. For example, it is no longer sufficient to place youth in jobs or careers based upon their capability to merely do a task. When considering the criteria to choose a student as a client for a career development program, educators and counselors must be cautious on how they accept students. Criteria for program entry should not be based upon a student’s cognitive functioning, test scores/academic success, independent levels, or behavior. These criteria do not serve youth well, because these factors are incomplete to meeting students’ needs to emotionally adapt.
Rather, it is crucial to design programs that emphasize individualized plans with supports and tools that help the student gain preparation, a. self-awareness, b. self-advocacy training, c. the negotiation of a daily routine to manage on-the-job capabilities, and d. team collaboration with coworkers. A creative design with these elements becomes the rich groundwork which can lead to a student’s experience of job satisfaction and where adaptation can unfold and blossom.
I discovered when youth receive preparation for career readiness through the lens of an design of an art form, it can make a positive difference to student capability and adaptation over time. I offer eleven employment design processes that get youth involved creatively and committed to their life and career possibilities.
- When students are guided and supported to deeply explore career pathways, they are eagerly taking part in curiosity and the art of imagining possible work options that may become a good match to their interests and strengths.
- When students experience job try outs, they are in the art and practice of discovering tasks they like or don’t like, experiencing environments that appeal to them or not, identifying settings they enjoy and find overall self-satisfaction,all within exposure to multiple workplace environments.
- When students make mistakes or have emotional set backs within their career search, they are in the act of experiencing and with guidance reflecting about the effects of their choice-making.
- When youth feel acceptance with assistance to identify personalized supports to move through challenges, they are involved in the process of choosing and implementing. This is the art of building self-awareness, self-determination, and self-advocacy.
- When students learn and practice basic self-regulation skills, they are making personal choices to create favorable outcomes for themselves, thus, choice-making
- When students listen to suggestions or advice from people who see the best in them or from those who have their back, they are taking part in creating their life through accepting connections and mentorship.
- When students make a decision about a job or career choice they are creating a vision of how they see themselves in future careers. This is a work-of- art in self-awareness development.
- When students take small brave steps forward into their chosen life direction, they are becoming more self-aware through creating the moments of each day.
- When students are aware of the power of their own choices, they are pursuing the art of self-determination.
- When students become aware of their problems and must seek out a solution, they are practicing the act of speaking up for themselves. This is true even when youth rely upon a tool or another person to speak up with them. This is the practice and art of self-advocacy.
- When students fall down (and they will) and with support and guidance they stand up wounded or scarred, this is artful living.
Artful living requires artful choice-making. All students should take part in this early career preparation and career development.
Every choice a student makes has an impact, regardless if the circumstance is small or highly important. A student’s progress is created in the moments of choice-making. We must teach students how choice-making is tied so closely to their self-emotional awareness because awareness impacts capability and adaptability. This is artful career preparation in action and S.A.F.E.T.Y Works.
SAFETY WORKS PIC 2 (pixabay.com)
S.A.F.E.T.Y Works(c) (words on image)
S A recognition of a unique set of strengths and challenges
A Self-advocacy training fostering emotional self-
E Environment exposure with predictability
Y Young adults to emotional adaptation, i.e., favorable
outcomes employment or college.
THIS ONLINE COURSE for PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT is for teachers, counselors, employment specialists, other professionals
If you need….transition and career implementation training for certification or CEU”s for your career, then take this course. How to Engage Youth to Discover their Dream Career and Adapt.
Click link to see curriculum and registration https://marquettestrengthsindex.com/wp/courses/
Save $50.00 Discount
Use Coupon Code: backtoschool50off good through October 15
This course has been approved by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
Receive 6 CEU’s
Pic 3 (image by Jackie Marquette)
Pic 3: How to Engage Youth o Discover Dream Careers and Adapt (words on image)
-7 Mini-Modules of about 3 hours total viewing time.
-6 downloadable Templates
-2 Assessment Tools, the online Strengths and Career Index© and downloadable & The Alternative Self-Awareness Assessment© (ASAA). Downloadable
-The Golden Wheel©, & The Predictability and Engagement Timeline©
-Completion: A Student Checklist, A downloadable
-Downloadable Course Workbook (107 pgs)
I believe I bring something unique to the career and adulthood readiness table for youth with Autism Spectrum and Social and Emotional Challenges. This work is based upon my research in which I created an expansivestrengths based approach with user-friendly tools to support students interests, emotional self-awareness, and self-advocacy. I call this model SAFETY Works©.
In my research, I listened to the voices of hundreds of persons with autism, their advocate/parents and professionals who worked with these students. I wanted to learn how they searched to find meaning within their lives and discovered or created resources to reach goals and adapt. I used the data to create user-friendly tools to help guide young adults to have their right job/career, training/college, and/or to live both independently andinterdependently.
In my personal experience with my autistic son supporting and guiding him, I learned to listen. Over the years, he taught me how to support his self-determination, self-advocacy and adaptation. He personally experienced many trials and errors with set backs and progress. It hasn’t been a walk in a rose garden, but with supports he walked his own journey and has been a professional practicing accomplished abstract artist now for 17 years.
The tools I offer in S.A.F.E.T.Y Works came out of my work and my life’s experiences and I want to pass them to people with autism their advocates and the professionals who work with them.
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