Models of Support

In an effort to provide each individual with ASD the greatest chance of obtaining and maintaining successful, competitive employment, the TEACCH® Supported Employment Program has developed four models of support: One-to-One Placement, Mobile Crew, Group Shared Support Site, and Standard Placement.

Each of these models incorporates the use of a "job coach," a trained professional, employed by TEACCH, who provides on-going support for the individual or individuals with ASD. The job coach follows the TEACCH philosophy to implement intervention strategies to teach the individual with ASD the necessary vocational and social skills required in the employment setting. Job Coaches also educate coworkers and supervisors about ASD, and act as liaisons between the individuals with ASD and their employers. These four distinct, yet similar models of support are seen in a wide array of vocational settings. Supported Employment has placed people with ASD in areas such as Manufacturing, Food Service, Office or Clerical, Landscaping, Grocery or Warehouse, Libraries, and Janitorial Services.

Job placements are based on an assessment of several factors including the information learned during the individualized vocational assessment process. Many programs have a standard assessment they apply to every individual seeking competitive employment. At TEACCH, the vocational assessment process is centered on the TEACCH Transition Assessment Profile (TTAP) and is individualized to each person with ASD. The TTAP assessment takes into account the individual’s preferences, skills, strengths and interests, as well as their weaknesses. The TEACCH Supported Employment Program also focuses on the individual's characteristics of ASD, and how these will affect their ability to independently use their skills in a work environment. By looking at their strengths and interests, their ASD, and their skills, TEACCH is able to determine the necessary structure, as well as the amount and type of support the individual needs to be successfully employed.

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One to One Model

Ratio of Support: One job coach for each adult with ASD
Frequency of Support: Full support is available the entire work day
Rate of Pay: Competitive wages
Types of Placements: Clerical, Manufacturing, Warehouse, Food Service, Retail, Library, Domestic, and Entertainment

The one to one model of supported employment consists of one job coach, employed by TEACCH, and one individual with ASD. A company in the community employs the individual with ASD. The Job Coach is located on-site throughout the entire workday. Individuals are typically placed in this model due to their need for intensive support. The Job Coach remains on-site throughout the entire work day to continuously adapt and modify structure to meet the individual's needs.

People with ASD who work in this model tend to have greater communication needs and less adaptive coping strategies. The job coach serves as a liaison between the individual with ASD and the employer to ensure that the individual clearly understands the employer’s expectations. To help the individual work as independently as possible, job coaches develop schedules and make changes in the daily routine as indicated by the employer, and create visual cues in the work environment. The job coach is also available to assist the individual, to accommodate for fluctuating job performance, and to help ensure the accuracy and quality of completed work.

When the individual with ASD becomes overwhelmed or frustrated, the job coach may assist the individual in completion of relaxation strategies. These strategies help the individual with ASD remain calm and focused, thereby allowing the individual to better attend to their responsibilities.

Group Shared Support Model

Ratio of Support: One job coach for every 2-6 adults with ASD at one place of business
Frequency of Support: Intermittent support by a job coach who is available the entire work day
Rate of Pay: Competitive wages and benefits
Types of Placements: Bakery, food service, grocery stores, manufacturing, and research laboratories

The Group Shared Support Model meets the needs of individuals who have developed the necessary work skills and behaviors to work at a competitive job site but who continue to need daily intermittent support. This model of supported employment consists of one job coach, employed by TEACCH, and two to six individuals with ASD working in a centralized location. The adult with ASD is employed by the company where they work. Each individual with ASD who works in the Group Shared Support Site is hired to do a different job within the company. The TEACCH Supported Employment Program currently has Group Shared Support sites in Food Service, Grocery Stores, and Laboratories.

As with the One to One and Mobile Crew models, the job coach is available to assist the individual, to accommodate for fluctuating job performance, to help insure the accuracy and quality of completed work, and to assist other workers in the setting to understand and interact with the employees with ASD. The job coach typically splits his or her time between the different individuals with ASD, focusing his or her attention on the individual or situation with the greatest need at any one time. Since the job coach moves throughout the place of business to provide intermittent support, the individual must be able to independently complete most, if not all, aspects of the job responsibilities.

Mobile Crew Model

Ratio of Support: One job coach for every 1-3 adults with ASD at one site
Frequency of Support: Intermittent support by a job coach who is available the entire work day
Rate of Pay: $8.00 - $10.00 per hour
Types of Placements: House Cleaning

The Mobile Crew model is used with individuals with ASD who require less intensive support than the one to one model. A Mobile Crew is a group of two to three individuals with ASD who work together to provide a service to customers in the community. They are supported by one job coach who is employed by TEACCH. TEACCH currently operates a house cleaning Mobile Crew. As with the one to one model, the job coach is available to assist the individual, to accommodate for fluctuating job performance, and to help ensure the accuracy and quality of completed work.

An important aspect of the Mobile Crew model is the opportunity to accommodate each of the individual's needs. The mobile crew gives the job coach the option of assigning tasks based upon the strengths and interests of each member of the mobile crew. The job coach develops work schedules that take into account the length of day an individual can work, and the amount of breaks needed for the individual to complete the work without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed.

Another advantage of the Mobile Crew model is that it provides a unique training site where the individual with ASD can strive to develop or improve their work skills in an effort to move towards gaining more competitive employment.

Standard Model

Ratio of Support: One job coach for every 20-30 adults with ASD
Frequency of Support: One to two contacts per week
Rate of Pay: Competitive wages and benefits
Types of Placements: Grocery stores, Laboratory, Library, Office, Warehouse

The Standard Model meets the needs of individuals with ASD who consistently demonstrate good work skills and behaviors and can effectively communicate with their supervisor or employer without on-site support. This model consists of one job coach, employed by TEACCH who provides support to 20 – 30 individuals with ASD working independently at their respective places of employment.

During the initial intensive two to eight -week training program, the job coach works virtually full time teaching the individual the job responsibilities and also helps co-workers and supervisors to understand the employee with ASD. Once the individual can complete the job without on-site support, a job coach is assigned to travel from job site to job site providing support to each individual with ASD and the respective employer.

In the Standard model, individual’s with ASD typically receive support from their job coach for one to two site visits each week for a total of one to six hours of support. This support fluctuates within any given time period, depending on the individual's needs, the employer's needs, and the nature of the issues needing support. By providing the necessary amount of support each week, the job coach is able to minimize, or even prevent issues from arising by effectively communicating with the individual with ASD, the supervisors and co-workers. This "long term support" aspect of the Standard model is a unique and effective component of TEACCH's Supported Employment Program.