Competitive Employment for Transition-Aged Youth with Significant Impact from Autism: A Multi-site Randomized Clinical Trial

J Autism Dev Disord. 2020 Jun;50(6):1882-1897. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-03940-2.


This study reports the results of a multi-site, parallel block randomized clinical trial to expand the previous findings regarding the implementation of Project SEARCH plus ASD Supports (PS + ASD) on employment outcomes upon graduation from high school. Participants were 156 individuals with significant impact from ASD between the ages of 18-21. There was a significant difference between treatment and control groups with 73.4% of the treatment group acquiring competitive employment at or above minimum wage by 1-year after graduation compared to 17% of the control group for whom data was provided. At 1-year, employed treatment group participants worked an average of 21.2 h per week (SD = 9) for a mean hourly wage of $9.61 per hour (SD = $1.55).Clinical Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT03560453.

Keywords: ASD; Applied behavior analysis; Autism; Employment; Positive behavior support; Project SEARCH; Transition to adulthood.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Education, Special / methods*
  • Employment / economics
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Young Adult

Associated data