NEW YORK | Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:41pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Programs are out there to help young adults with autism find and keep a job. but no one yet knows whether they work, according to a study published Monday.
Combing the medical literature for evidence on the question, researchers were able to find only five studies. all were generally low-quality, the team reports in the journal Pediatrics.
“We did identify some small studies with promising results,” said lead researcher Julie Lounds Taylor, an assistant professor of pediatrics and special education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
But the studies were not well-designed enough to draw conclusions, according to Taylor.
“Even though there are vocational services out there, they haven’t been rigorously studied,” Taylor said.
She stressed, though, that the findings do not mean the programs don’t work – just that better studies are needed.
An autism researcher not involved in the new report agreed.
“I think this is more a critique of the research community, not the programs themselves,” said Paul Shattuck, an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Why have there been so few studies, and no high-quality ones?
Both Taylor and Shattuck said that in autism, the research focus has historically been on children.
“But children with autism grow up,” Taylor pointed out. “We have startlingly little evidence on how to help adults.”
In the U.S., it’s estimated that about one in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
That’s up 78 percent from a decade ago – which health officials attribute to better diagnosis as well as broader definitions of what constitutes an ASD.
ASDs are a group of developmental brain disorders that hinder a person’s ability to communicate and interact socially – ranging from the severe cases of “classic” autism to the relatively mild form called Asperger’s syndrome.
The five studies in the new review came from the U.S., UK, Spain and Germany. the U.S. study was the largest, looking at 1,700 autistic adults nationwide who took part in “vocational rehabilitation” services.
Most U.S. states have such services, which help people with disabilities – physical or mental – find a job and stay employed. that may include so-called on-the-job supports, when the agency works with an employer to get disabled workers the kind of training, accommodations or other forms of support they need.
Private organizations also offer people with autism help with finding and keeping a job. but the extent of what’s available to families varies widely depending on where they live, Taylor said.
The U.S. study in her review found that autistic adults who took part in vocational rehab were as successful in finding a job as people with other developmental disabilities.
Overall, 42 percent ended up “competitively” employed, compared with 39 percent of people with mental retardation, for example.
The other studies were smaller. a UK study of 30 young adults in a work program found that 19 got paying jobs, versus five of 20 young people not in the program. of the 19 in the program with jobs, 13 were still employed seven to eight years later.
But all of the studies had limits, Taylor’s team says. None of them, for instance, randomly assigned people to a vocational program or a comparison group; that type of study is considered the “gold standard” in proving that an intervention works.
Furthermore, a job program that helps one person with an ASD may not work for another person, Taylor pointed out.
“Adults with autism are a broad group,” she said. so studies should be done to see what types of services are best for different people.
Although the evidence is “thin” on work programs for people with autism, that doesn’t mean families should not try them, Shattuck said.
“We can’t say none of these things work.”
According to Shattuck, the progress that’s been made in understanding autism in recent years has come from the efforts of parents and advocacy groups. And “innovations” in work programs are coming from the community, too, he said.
As an example, Shattuck pointed to the drugstore chain Walgreens. the company redesigned the work process at some of its regional distribution centers to make it easier for all employees, and began hiring more and more people with autism or other disabilities. the idea came from a Walgreens executive whose son has autism.
Still, when it comes to higher education and jobs, young people with autism seem to be lagging even their peers with other types of developmental disabilities.
In a recent study, Shattuck found that of 680 young U.S. adults with an ASD, 35 percent had not gone to school or held a job since high school. that compared with one-quarter of young people with mental retardation, and only seven percent of those with speech or language impairments.
SOURCE: bit.ly/QKEjf2 Pediatrics, online August 27, 2012.
Long Island is the sixth wealthiest area in the country. As the rest of the country struggles with unemployment and economic downturn, Long Island boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and employment opportunities in many fields. The average household income for Long Island is almost $53,000. another advantage of the area is the first-rate schools, parks, museums, and beaches. Divided into four counties, Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Brooklyn/Kings, Long Island covers 125 miles and is home to seven and a half million people. There are 107 schools in the Nassau and Suffolk counties and upwards of 90,000 businesses.
Of those people, the home ownership rate is incredibly high. in Suffolk and Nassau County almost eighty percent of the population owns their home. Queens has an ownership rate of almost forty-three percent, while Brooklyn lags behind at twenty-seven percent. Long Island real estate is clearly some of the best in the country, both because of its proximity to New York City and because of its geographic location on an island. The average price for a home in 2008 was surprisingly good for the area at around five hundred thousand.
Unlike many other real estate situations, Long Island houses have the added possibility of the owners renting it out for short term vacationers or people attending events in New York City. according to the Internal Revenue Service, owners can derive tax-free income from renting a home or getaway, provided it is rented out for 15 days or fewer and they don’t claim any of the tax deductions typically allowed on rental property such as for depreciation or maintenance. Once the 15-day threshold is reached, a different set of tax laws comes in to play.
If you close on your new house before December 1, 2009, you may also be able to qualify for the first-time homebuyer tax credit of $8,000. A married couple earning less than $150,000 or a single person earning less than $75,000 both qualify for this tax credit. in addition, virtually any type of home qualifies as long as it is your primary residence. with all of the advantages and benefits to Long Island, finding either a long term or seasonal vacation home for the price you are looking for couldn’t be easier.
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The chamber’s 2012 Summer Youth Employment Program came to an end on Friday, Aug. 17. this six week program featured 80 youth participants, who were placed into jobs throughout 37 host worksites in Middletown, three in Durham and two in Cromwell. six weeks might not seem like a long time, but the experience provides a solid foundation and offers a great glimpse into what life in the workforce is like.the Chamber has the capacity through our dynamic membership, to place these youngsters into subsidized employment, in a wide variety of professional fields, for 15-20 hours per week. Program applicants are put through a comprehensive pre-employment screening process which takes into account their hobbies, interests, work experience, future plans, comfort level on the computer and on the phone, and other important factors such as transportation and availability in the summer months. each applicant is then placed into the best possible employment situation for that individual. our host sites represent the government sector, the non-profit sector, and most notably, the private sector. each year, this program teaches our young people not only the fundamentals of employment, such as getting to work on time and ready to contribute, but also about the pride that comes with putting in a solid work week and receiving a paycheck that was earned through hard and honest work.Workforce Alliance, the state’s south central Workforce Investment Board, stepped up again this summer to be the primary funder of our Youth @ Work program. However, due to the strong demand for youth employment opportunities in Middletown, the 2012 waiting list would have been more than double the size of the placement list. that is, until Mayor Dan Drew and members of the Middletown Common Council, the local foundation community, and the local business community, stepped up to the plate. the City of Middletown committed $27,100 to summer youth employment, and donations from the private sector and local foundations matched that figure. instead of 40 kids working through the program this summer, we had 80, and it was a smashing success.I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our funders for their outstanding support this summer. Without them, this whole program would not have been possible. I want to especially thank Workforce Alliance Executive Director bill Villano, Mayor Dan Drew and members of the Middletown Common Council, Liberty Bank President Chandler Howard, Liberty Bank Foundation Executive Director Sue Murphy and Associate Director Betty Weintraub, Middlesex United Way Executive Director Kevin Wilhelm, Seasons Federal Credit Union CEO Keith Weimert, VP for Staff Development Betsy Sommers, and Chief Marketing Officer Robyn Swanson, Citizens Bank Connecticut and Rhode Island President Ned Handy and Vice President/Director of Rhode Island and Connecticut Public Affairs Amie Kershaw, MiddleOak CEO Gary Vallo and Senior Vice President Tom Ford, Middlesex County Community Foundation President & CEO Cynthia Clegg and Director of Programs & Operations Thayer Talbott, Middlesex Coalition for Children Chairman Willard McRae and Director Betsy Morgan, Sharon Griffin of the Peach Pit Foundation, Main Street Market Owner Mike Stone, and Centerplan Companies President Bob Landino. these community and business leaders truly made a difference this summer.
It would not be possible to provide a real employment experience without strong support from our host worksites. I would like to publicly thank all of our host worksites: Seasons Federal Credit Union, Howard and McMillan Counselors at Law, Universal BACH Transportation Services, Liberty Bank, Pegasus Manufacturing Inc., Stonegate Apartments, Inn at Middletown, NORA Cupcake co., Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate LLC, the new England Emporium Eatery and Marketplace, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Re/Max Marketplace, ReStore, Middlesex County Historical Society, Strike-A-Pose Hair & Body Salon, Cross Street AME Zion Church, Centerplan Companies, Wesleyan University, one MacDonough place, Nxegen, Northern Middlesex YMCA, Luther Ridge at Middletown, Godfrey Memorial Library, Allstate Insurance, ABC Women’s Center, North end Action Team, Pamela Roose Specialty Hand Knits, Prudential Connecticut Realty, Downtown Business District, Mike’s Barber Shop, Walgreens, ID Mail Systems, Ryan Woods Autism Foundation, Connecticut Valley Hospital, Charles Computer Services, Chef’s Palate Catering, Oddfellows Playhouse, Middletown Goodwill Store & Donation Center, William Raveis Real Estate, Community Renewal Team, Russell Library, Futures Inc., Naples Farm, Durham Fitness, and Durham’s Kitchen.As I noted throughout the summer, this program is developing the workforce of tomorrow, and nothing is more important to the business community.Last Thursday, it was our pleasure to welcome Paul Pasqualoni, UCONN Head Football Coach, as guest speaker at our August Member Breakfast Meeting. Coach Pasqualoni gave a preview of this year’s season, and spoke of the importance of teamwork, hard work, and dedication. we had a great crowd that included over 400 business people and over 50 local high school football players and coaches who are gearing up for their own seasons. I want to thank Coach Pasqualoni for speaking to our group and People’s United Bank for their sponsorship of the event. Mike Casparino, President, Northern Connecticut, and Bob D’Amore, Senior Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, People’s United Bank, are true professionals and the Chamber values its relationship with this great company.It was my pleasure to join Governor Malloy on part of his summer tour of our region’s tourism sites on Thursday. I met the Governor at EMPOWER Leadership Sports and Adventure Center, a zip line course and team building facility in Middletown, in the morning, and at Lyman Orchards’ in Middlefield in the afternoon. Brian O’Connor from the Chamber office visited with him at Essex Steam Train and Valley Railroad. the Governor also visited Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland, the Blue Oar Restaurant in Haddam, Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, and the Gelston House and Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. Tourism is critically important and I applaud the Governor for his commitment to the industry, and thank him for visiting Middlesex County.a year certainly goes by fast these days. on Thursday night, I attended a memorial service that honored the life of Mary Hamrah, the former wife of Albert Hamrah. the service officially marked a full year since her passing. Father Greg Galvin gave wonderful remarks, and it was great to see so many of Mary’s and Albert’s family and friends at a little gathering that followed at Fiore II.a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of visiting little Honey’s Bakery, which is located in the Remington Rand building on Johnson Street in Middletown. I want to thank the little Honey’s team for dropping off some delicious donuts at the Chamber office last week. Continued…
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August 14, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — new York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Chicago on Tuesday advocating for sweeping immigration reform.
He was joined by former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley in speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago. Mayor Bloomberg said that opening the border can help induce a quick economic turnaround.
“I know of no ways to help our economy as quickly and as cost free as opening our borders to people who will come here to create jobs, create businesses,” he said.
Bloomberg is on a national tour touting his immigration ideas, which are based on a non-partisan study by a group of American mayors and business leaders.
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