No matter how old your autistic young adult is now, it’s a worthwhile conversation to start thinking about career paths in the future.

According to research by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute out of Drexel University, only 58% of autistic young adults have worked in a paying job by their early 20s.

While underemployment continues to be a persistent issue for adults with autism, many companies and organizations are making meaningful changes to improve workplace inclusivity which translates to better employment options in the future.

career exploration for autistic job seekers<br />

So how do you start discussing career paths with your autistic young adult?

1. Take time to dive deep.

Rather than jumping into the most common or best paying roles, encourage your student to spend some time reflecting on what they really value in their job. You can ask questions like:

“What did you love about your last work/volunteering experience”

“What kind of work enviroment suits you the best?

Do you prefer fast-paced activity or more predictable days?

“How do you prefer to interact with peers at work?

Would you like to work with people or tools/systems more often?

“What habits do you need in your personal life to feel balanced and whole?

The Greenwood Assessment™ is an excellent tool to encourage this self-reflection for your student. I’ve tried a lot of career tools and this one is my favorite for it’s in-depth questionnaire, adaptability for neurodivergence strengths and weaknesses and exploration tools to learn more about careers of interest. 

This blog post about job fit can also help guide your conversation. Learn more about our career focused packages here.

2. Make the most of neurodiversity resources.

From international organizations to small startups, companies are finally realizing the incredible talents of neurodivergent job seekers. Explore these autism focused career resources to learn about neurodivergent hiring and training programs:


  • Mentra: In this neurodiversity employment network. job seekers can create a profile and get matched with roles that fit their neurodiverse strengths and skills.
  • Hire Autism: With an extensive job board, this site helps you find roles specifically for autistic adults.
  • Neurodiversity Hub: This site has a specific section for parents/carers of neurodiverse young adults and active neurodiverstity programs at companies like Deloitte, EY, Ford, Microsoft, USBank, WB and more.
  • BroadFutures: With paid internship programs, BroadFutures “removes employment barriers and empowers interns to thrive and employers to create accessible and inclusive workplaces.”

3. Don’t get stuck in a role that’s not working.

Finding a good job fit can be tough. It’s hard to predict how your autistic young adult will respond to that situation until it becomes reality. Even jobs that don’t work out can teach us useful lessons. Don’t get discouraged if their first jobs or internships don’t align with their long-term goals.

Continue the conversation with active networking and AI-powered job resume tools to find what is next.


Best of luck as you and your young adult walk this career exploration path. Reach out anytime for more autism specific resources and coaching options.