Strengths-based Service Delivery for People with Autism

Providing quality service delivery and customer satisfaction is advertised as a priority in many consumer-driven fields. Car dealerships, fast food restaurants and telephone companies provide various formats to help their consumers provide the company with feedback about the service and quality of the product. The health care industry has also shifted to providing quality customer service through addressing needs identified in consumer surveys and reports. They have made changes to reduce scheduling backlogs, increase patient privacy, and improve waiting room seating.

Unemployment for People with Disabilities including Autism

These changes were made through a recognition of customer needs and developing goals to directly impact those needs. People with disabilities who use the mental health system of supports have also identified areas of outcome goals. According to Wiman, Helander, and Westland, they describe these goals as gainful employment, typical lifestyles, and autonomy. These goals have been identified since the 1970s, but significant gains for the majority of people served through the system have not been realized. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the employment rate in October 2009 was 18.1 percent. In 1994-1995, the years immediately following the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employment for people with disabilities was estimated at 37 percent, according to the Office of Disability Research. Though there are slight variations in the compilation of data, the fact remains that employment opportunities for people with disabilities declined even as opportunities for those without disabilities climbed in the economic boom of the 1990s. This is despite a concentration on the sheltered workshop and supported employment programs created to train people with disabilities to earn gainful employment. Government funding continues to allocate preferential funding to institutions despite the Independent Living movement and mandate to end the institutionalized lifestyle. These goals of people with disabilities can be realized through the implementation of a strengths-based service delivery system. The effective strengths-based system will be incorporate counselors with positive attitudes toward people with disabilities, an expansive self-determination program, and an updated vocational training system.

Counselor Attitudes Toward People with Autism and Autonomy

The counselor is instrumental in the overall opportunities accessible to the client. The attitude of a counselor towards her clients can be a major determinant of client success. According to Deloach and Greer, negative attitudes held by rehabilitation counselors may lower client expectations. When the counselor views the client with low expectations and limited capabilities that cannot be accommodated, the clients expectation of achieving more are diminished. This is contrary to how professionals encourage people without disabilities. It is further contrary to what professionals know as effective. jasa sewa truk

Respectful language, such as the People First Language model illustrated by Kathy Snow, has been accepted as the proper approach to describing people with disabilities and their lives. However the emergence and utilization of respectful language has not translated into respectful attitudes among counselors or the population. Therefore, in order for outcome goals to be realized counselors must be encouraged to embrace people first attitudes. Counselors are the gateway to meaningful lives for people with autism especially those whose disabilities are significant. Maintaining attitudes that believe in people to the degree the counselor looks for ways to accommodate a person’s disability, while promoting their abilities, can help to provide quality services. Quality strengths-based services will lead to quality lives.

News Reporter