Addressing the Need for Services for Autistic Adults
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the North Ward Center for the “Autism: A Different Way of Thinking” Forum to speak with Hetal Narciso, Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest. Narciso discusses the availability of services for individuals with autism, how JVS works to prepare adult participants for jobs in the community and what more needs to be done to provide services into adulthood.
"Steve Adubato, coming to you from the North Ward Center in Newark, New Jersey, Brick City. This is part of an ongoing series looking at Autism: A Different Way of Thinking About Autism. We are pleased to be joined by Hetal Narciso. Yes. And she's Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services at Jewish Vocational Service at MetroWest. Good to see you. Thank you for having me. Talk about your organization. Specifically how does your organization help those dealing with autism? So we actually... JVS is a nonprofit agency that helps people with disabilities, especially people on the spectrum. We have a Career Center that works... The autism spectrum? Yes. Autism spectrum. Spectrum. Yeah. We have a Career Center that works specifically with individuals on the spectrum in helping them find employment in the community. Let's break this down a little bit. What kind of skills are we talking about? So we work with individuals that are right out of the school systems, to individuals that also have master's degrees in computer science and IT. Hold on. Back up. Yeah. A 28 year old master's degree from wherever, versus someone who is just out of high school? Just out of high school. Yeah Looking for entry-level positions. Are the needs different for one person versus another dealing with autism depending upon their education level? Et cetera? Et cetera? Yes. The needs are different. I think it's very individualized, based on each individual's needs. The big difference also is the one thing that they do have in common is the social aspect. I mean just getting through an interview process and getting... How hard? It's difficult. So we're having this conversation right now? Yeah. In all seriousness, we were talking before we got on camera there's a degree of nerves on your part? Mm hmm. Sometimes I have the same thing. What would be different for...? I don't know if this is a typical... there's no such thing, but for someone dealing with autism when it comes to verbal communication, why would it be different? Or how? Being able to express themselves. Being able to, you know, provide eye contact with an employer. Being able to talk about their experiences, sometimes which can be very difficult, and having emotion attached to that as well. The interview process can be very daunting. Very nerve-wracking. Some, I think, more nerves than... I think... you know... Normal nerves? Yeah. I shouldn't say normal. Average nerves? Yeah. Are there distractions that we may not pick up, that..."