This webpage offers reports and news releases that contain employment statistics for individuals with disabilities. The Employment Situation, a monthly report that captures labor force data for both individuals with and without disabilities, and links to historical data and alternate formats are available on this page.
This report, from the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, discusses the current disability employment situation, addresses some recent developments that create an opportunity to bring more workers with disabilities into the labor force, and calls on government and business leaders and others in the community to elevate this issue to a national priority. It addresses the goal of competitive, integrated employment; the impact of education on employment for individuals with disabilities; the need for alignment of federal spending with the goals of the American with Disabilities Act and more.
Lindstrom, L., Harwick, R., Poppen, M., & Doren, B. (2012). Gender gaps career development for young women with disabilities. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, doi: 10.1177/0885728812437737
Young women with disabilities face multiple barriers in making the transition from high school to meaningful careers. This study used focus groups and individual interviews with high school girls with disabilities, college women with disabilities, high school special education teachers, school administrators and employers to examine career development and transition needs for young women with disabilities. Barriers and supports were identified in four major categories: a) individual/interpersonal skills, b) career options, c) school system issues, and d) disability needs. Recommendations for practice are discussed.
View the Research Article – Gender gaps career development for young women with disabilities
Research Article: Experiences of parents who homeschool their children with autism spectrum disorders
Hurlbutt, K. (2011). Experiences of parents who homeschool their children with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, doi: 10.1177/1088357611421170
Teachers may be inadequately prepared for the increasing number of students being identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as students with ASD may not respond to traditional methods of instruction. Some parents of children with ASD are concerned with educational programming available through public school systems and are turning to homeschooling. Ten parents from nine families participated in this qualitative study to share their experiences, opinions, and perceptions of homeschooling as compared to instruction in public school settings. Four themes emerged from the data analysis, along with one overarching theme. The 10 parents who homeschool their children with ASD believe they have found a treatment plan that works, and their perception has been that the school has been either (a) not willing and/or (b) unable to provide effective programming. An unexpected finding was that homeschooling goals and interventions varied across the families.
View the Research Article – Experiences of parents who homeschool their children with autism spectrum disorders
Research Article: Lie-telling behavior in children with autism and its relation to false-belief understanding
Talwar, V., Zwaigenbaum, L., Goulden, K., Manji, S., Loomes, C., & Rasmussen, C. (2012). Lie-telling behavior in children with autism and its relation to false-belief understanding. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, doi: 10.1177/1088357612441828
Children’s lie-telling behavior and its relation to false-belief understanding was examined in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; n = 26) and a comparison group of typically developing children (n = 27). Participants were assessed using a temptation resistance paradigm, in which children were told not to peek at a forbidden toy while left alone in a room and were later asked if they peeked. Overall, 77% of the total sample peeked at the toy, with no significant difference between the ASD and typically developing groups. Whereas 96% of the typically developing control children lied about peeking, significantly fewer children with ASD (72%) lied. Children with ASD were poorer at maintaining their lies than the control group. Liars had higher false-belief scores than truth-tellers. These findings have implications for understanding how theory of mind deficits may limit the ability of children with ASD to purposefully deceive others.
Research Article: Evaluation of a sibling-mediated imitation intervention for young children with autism
Walton, K., & Ingersoll, B. (2012). Evaluation of a sibling-mediated imitation intervention for young children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, doi: 10.1177/1098300712437044
Parents and peers have been successful at implementing interventions targeting social interactions in children with autism; however, few interventions have trained siblings as treatment providers. This study used a multiple-baseline design across six sibling dyads (four children with autism) to evaluate the efficacy of sibling-implemented reciprocal imitation training. All six typically developing siblings were able to learn and use contingent imitation, four of the six siblings were able to learn and use linguistic mapping, and all six siblings increased their use of at least one component of the imitation training procedure. Three of the four children with autism showed increases in overall imitation and all four showed evidence of increases in joint engagement. Parents and siblings reported high satisfaction with the intervention, and ratings by naïve observers indicated significant changes from pre- to posttreatment. These results suggest that sibling-implemented reciprocal imitation training may be a promising intervention for young children with autism.
View the Research Article – Evaluation of a sibling-mediated imitation intervention for young children with autism
Research Article: Improving social engagement and initiations between children with autism spectrum disorder and their peers in inclusive settings
Koegel, L., Vernon, T., Koegel, R., Koegel, B., & Paullin, A. (2012). Improving social engagement and initiations between children with autism spectrum disorder and their peers in inclusive settings.Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, doi: 10.1177/1098300712437042
Research suggests that incorporating the circumscribed ritualistic interests of children with autism as a theme of activities can improve their socialization. The current study assessed whether socialization would improve if more general interests of children on the autism spectrum that would also be of interest to their typical peers were incorporated into activities. Three children with autism, who were included in regular education classes but did not seek out or interact with peers prior to intervention, participated. Data were collected in the context of a multiple baseline across-participants design, with a reversal for one child. Activities that were identified to be of interest to the study participants and their typical peers were implemented as clubs twice weekly during regular lunchtime periods. Results showed that all three children demonstrated large increases in their time engaged with peers as a result of the activities, with minimal training of the interventionist and without any specialized training of the children with autism or their peers. Furthermore, their untargeted verbal initiations greatly improved over baseline levels and often approximated the levels of their peers. Implications for further improving peer social interactions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are discussed.
Research Article: Motor proficiency and physical fitness in adolescent males with and without autism spectrum disorders
Pan, C. (2012). Motor proficiency and physical fitness in adolescent males with and without autism spectrum disorders. Autism, doi: 10.1177/1362361312458597
This study compared components of motor proficiency and physical fitness in adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorders, and assessed the associations between the two measures within each group. A total of 62 adolescent males with (n = 31) and without (n = 31) autism spectrum disorders aged 10–17 years completed the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (2nd ed.), the BROCKPORT Physical Fitness Test, and the bioelectrical impedance analysis. The main findings are as follows: (1) adolescents with autism spectrum disorders had significantly lower scores on all motor proficiency and fitness measures, except body composition, than adolescents without autism spectrum disorders and that (2) the types of associations between the two measures differed significantly across the groups. Specific interventions to maximize motor proficiency and physical fitness in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders are urgently needed.
View the Research Article – Motor proficiency and physical fitness in adolescent males with and without autism spectrum disorders
Research Article: Relationship satisfaction, parenting stress, and depression in mothers of children with autism
Weitlauf, A., Vehorn, A., Taylor, J., & Warren, Z. (2012). Relationship satisfaction, parenting stress, and depression in mothers of children with autism. Autism, doi: 10.1177/1362361312458039
Mothers of children with autism report higher levels of depression than mothers of children with other developmental disabilities. We explored the relations between child characteristics of diagnostic severity and problem behaviors, parenting stress, relationship quality, and depressive symptoms in 70 mothers of young children with autism. We hypothesized that relationship quality and parenting stress would relate to maternal depression beyond contributions of child characteristics. Multiple regression analysis revealed a main effect of parenting stress above and beyond child problem behaviors and autism severity. A significant interaction emerged, with relationship quality buffering the effect of parenting stress on depression. Results suggest that the relation between child problem behaviors and maternal depression should be considered in conjunction with other measures of marriage and family stress. Relationship quality and parenting stress may also represent important factors to be explicitly considered within intervention paradigms for young children with autism spectrum disorders.
View the Research Article – Relationship satisfaction, parenting stress, and depression in mothers of children with autism
Research Article: A randomised group comparison controlled trial of ‘preschoolers with autism’: A parent education and skills training intervention for young children with autistic disorder
Tonge, B., Brereton, A., Kiomall, M., Mackinnon, A., & Rinehart, N. (2012). A randomised group comparison controlled trial of ‘preschoolers with autism’: A parent education and skills training intervention for young children with autistic disorder.Autism, doi: 10.1177/1362361312458186
Aim: To determine the effect of parent education on adaptive behaviour, autism symptoms and cognitive/language skills of young children with autistic disorder.
Method: A randomised group comparison design involving a parent education and counselling intervention and a parent education and behaviour management intervention to control for parent skills training and a control sample. Two rural and two metropolitan regions were randomly allocated to intervention groups (n = 70) or control (n = 35). Parents from autism assessment services in the intervention regions were randomly allocated to parent education and behaviour management (n = 35) or parent education and counselling (n = 35).
Results: Parent education and behaviour management resulted in significant improvement in adaptive behaviour and autism symptoms at 6 months follow-up for children with greater delays in adaptive behaviour. Parent education and behaviour management was superior to parent education and counselling. We conclude that a 20-week parent education programme including skills training for parents of young children with autistic disorder provides significant improvements in child adaptive behaviour and symptoms of autism for low-functioning children.