We are going to continue talking about employment this week.
Helpful Job Resources
Families often ask me what kinds of services the State of Texas provides for individuals with disabilities or who have special needs who want to be employable. The Department of Health and Human Services in Texas has a program called Employment First which provides pre-employment and employment support. They have all the information right there on their website, including information about social security and Texas Workforce Solutions. I recommend that you take a look at Employment First so that you know what kinds of support the state has in place.
For my kiddos, I went to the Texas Workforce Commission and completed an application process there. For my youngest son, I did this when he was a junior in high school. They did some testing to look at his intellectual level and what his interests were, and then we started a job placement process. At that time, a lot of job placement and training was in fast food. They provided a job coach, and once you successfully transitioned, usually in 90 days, the job coach checks with the employer to see how things are going. If there is a challenge that arises later, the job coach can come back in.
Before looking for paid employment it is critical that your kiddo or young adult do volunteer work. This is where they can learn many pre-vocational skills. We also work on these skills all the time here at Cutting Edge. Your kiddos do a lot of work around here that gives them pre-vocational skills!
Some of the more popular jobs for our clients have been things like:
Smaller retail, which tends to be a more sensory-friendly job than large retail.
Kitchen and culinary jobs. Hugs Cafe in McKinney is a great choice and is run by people with special needs. Here at Cutting Edge, we have Spencer’s Java Jam which is one of our pre-vocational programs, and which will allow your kiddos to learn how to engage with the public.
Animal care is another popular choice, with some of our clients working as veterinary techs. Anything in the arts is a good choice, as well as assembly work.
Assembly work. Many of our kiddos and young adults do really well with very repetitive jobs. Assembly work is very repetitive, so that is an option I recommend for you to explore.
Pharmaceutical and healthcare. Some of our clients have worked in drug stores, and even in healthcare in some hospitals. Hospitals are great employers.
Hospitality and housekeeping. When my son was training he worked in a hotel in the laundry room folding towels, putting the sheets together, etc. He loved doing that work!
Janitorial work is yet another option.
Remember that we have multiple skill levels at Cutting Edge. Your young adult may be capable of going to college and having a professional career, but they may still need to find a work environment that is more sensory-friendly, or smaller. We also have some young adults with intellectual disabilities who will need to do jobs that are able to be done with their disabilities.
As you can see, our kids have many options! I hope this was helpful, and please continue to follow us as we continue to talk about jobs and employment in the next few weeks!