How can a teenager who suffers from an intellectual disability find employment?

How can a teenager who suffers from an intellectual disability find employment?

It can often be difficult for teenagers to obtain employment following leaving school particularly if they struggle with a disability such as an Intellectual Disability or significant learning issues. To help, a psychological assessment can be arranged through a Disability Employment Network. This assessment can assist the employment consultant in understanding the disorder and be better informed about what employment type and conditions will suit them best.

The psychological assessment will be conducted over approximately three hours with breaks. It consists of an intelligence test and, most importantly, a measure of their adaptive functioning skills.

For instance, a young adult with a moderate intellectual disability may have difficulty remembering basic living skills such as showering without prompting. Obviously, if your young adult is having difficulties within this area, they will require assistance with these skills prior to being deemed job-ready.

Alternatively, your teenager may be able to undertake these activities but require extra assistance from a support worker while attending the job location. For example, they may need ongoing assistance to travel to the employment location as they may have map reading difficulties or be unable to understand public transport timetables.

In some situations an adult with an intellectual disability may require attending a supported employment setting so that they can receive ongoing support from suitably qualified disability/employment support workers with maintaining their employment goals. For instance, a young adult with an intellectual disability will take longer to learn and retain tasks related to their employment type. The young adult often will also require significant intervention with obtaining and maintaining relationships with others in the workplace. Just like they may experience difficulty understanding employment-related tasks, they can also have difficulty with social interventions.

In my opinion, it is extremely important that the young adult is engaged in appropriate employment. It is well documented that having employment in some form is a beneficial factor in maintaining mental health for a variety of reasons, such as providing social interaction and a feeling of accomplishment and structure within the day.

In summary, a psychoeducational assessment can provide your teenager/young adult with invaluable information regarding their strengths and weaknesses which will greatly assist a disability employment network determine how much support your teenager will require to obtain and maintain employment.

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