This paper aimed to identify factors that improve transition to work. Focus groups were conducted with adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who had been part of an employment and training programme in one organisation for 7 months, family members, support staff and coworkers.
Three main themes which consisted of 10 subthemes were identified: enablers, challenges and outcomes. The sub themes for the enablers of transition to work were behavior changes and strategies used by staff (e.g. adjusting work allocations, inviting trainees to social events, being mindful of sarcasm), work and other support (e.g. having a consultant in the organisation who had a lot of experience working with individuals with ASD) and environmental accommodations (e.g. changing the lighting, individuals with ASD being able to use headphones to manage auditory stimulation). The sub themes for challenges were identified as task-related challenges (e.g. difficulties with computer network problems) and individual factors (e.g. time management, coping with change and attention). Programme outcomes were positive and the sub themes were workplace-related outcomes such as attention to detail in noticing errors, awareness - colleagues commented they had been able to increase their awareness and understanding of autism, the sense of purpose provided for individuals with autism, the benefits of financial and personal independence for the individuals with ASD and the improvements seen in social relationships, both trainees and family members described these improvements in social relationships.