For someone with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities, it can seem daunting or even an impossibility that they might find themselves in secure, rewarding and permanent employment.

Madi’s experience with us has been incredibly successful – starting with work experience and moving onto permanent open employment.

People often want to know how it happened and how long it took. So, here is the actual timeline!

24th Dec 2018 – Message from Madi via Facebook asking for work experience.

31st Dec 2018 – Meeting with Madi at Starfish.

3rd Jan 2019 – Phone call then meeting with Janelle (Madi’s mother) at Starfish – without Madi present.

8th Jan 2019 – Meeting with Madi and Janelle at Starfish to plan out start date and times. To start with, work experience was decided upon.

Work Experience

10th Jan 2019 – Madi started work experience. 2hrs (1pm – 3pm)

Madi represented Australia in the Special Olympics. She was away for several weeks.

21st March 2019 – Increased hours. 3hrs (12noon – 3pm)

6th June 2019 – Increased hours. 4hr (12noon – 4pm)

Madi getting her own set of keys and Starfish name badge

Permanent Employment

25th June 2019 – Started Permanent Part time employment. (Tuesdays 9.45am – 12.45pm and Thursdays 1.15pm – 5.15pm)

That is where we are at the moment.

Madi would like to do a Retail Traineeship. This is something we are keen to look at, depending on how much work we have for Madi.

Madi’s first day of employment at Starfish.

Key Take Homes

  • It took almost 6 months of work experience before Madi moved to permanent open employment
  • Work experience was increased very gradually
  • Once Madi was easily doing 4hours of work experience on a day, we felt she was definitely “earning her keep” and employment was well deserved
  • It is not uncommon for people with intellectual disabilities to do 600ors of work experience before moving to open employment. Indeed, a good amount of work experience makes transition to employment smoother and for successful.

It is so worth it.

Want to learn more about employing someone with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, the things we’ve found to be crucial (and at times surprising) to making “it” work so well for us? We’ve put together a series of posts so everyone who needs this information can easily access it.