The Bigger Piece
The Bigger Piece Programming
Employment. While so many of us take this aspect of our lives for granted, employment is often elusive for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. One way to increase the competence and success of students with autism spectrum disorders in the workplace is to create opportunities for students to gain successful experiences in real life work situations while they are in their teen and preteen years.
During June of 2015, we launched our initial Transition Programming, focused on students building employment skills in local businesses, through volunteer opportunities. In each of three volunteer opportunities, students engaged in work tasks, in partners and small groups. While students worked on site, parents met as a group, with a facilitator, to discuss ideas related to building students’ independence and opportunities in the workplace.
In the spring of 2021, we began a more robust transition program. Students began creating Puppy Go Home kits for a dog breeder, and learned how to create and produce materials for this breeder. They engaged in visits to the breeder, socialized the puppies, and saw first-hand, how their bags were being used by the breeder. In the summer of 2021, the program expanded again. Students engaged in resume creation, job application completion, and interview practice to apply for and gain positions within the expanded program, The Bigger Piece. From there, students worked on teams to create and build an Etsy Store that focuses on creating pet products. Students are involved in all parts of the business, from creating products, advertising, website developing, finance monitoring, and serving customers.
If you are interested in joining our mailing list in order to receive information regarding this developing program, please submit a contact form on the Home Page or email Heather directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.