"He needs a job coach to help him with on-site social skills, but I have no idea how to land one of those rare birds." I apologize if this is rhetorical, sometimes I can't help myself. Typically people get job coaches assigned to them by either their State's Vocational Rehabilitation Department/Division or by a State HCBS Medicaid Waiver provider (Vocational services). This can happen as early as age 14 (Pre-Employment Transition Services).

Some of the families I've worked with have hired their own (typically much less involved). The wages paid can be used to reduce the earned income. This is helpful when one is concerned about making too much and losing SSI or running up against the Substantial Gainful Activity limit for SSDI.


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We haven't had much luck with DVRS in NJ. My son is still in a transition program, so they refuse to do anything meaningful until he graduates, because they don't want to "duplicate" services. Not that he's getting any real job coaching in his transition program.

I've heard from so many people now that there are not enough job coaches and not enough businesses were open to disabled people with job coaches. The few places that gave young people those opportunities closed down during COVID and never opened up again.

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DVRS is using a crappy cop-out. Your son is eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services, which were designed to be offered while still in school. DVRS should be willing to give you a referral, especially if you already have an idea of who you want to work with.

Have you talked to the Arc of New Jersey Family Institute? https://www.thearcfamilyinstitute.org/

I'm not sure where in NJ you live, so here are a few other possible resources.

Bergen ResourceNet - https://www.bergenresourcenet.org/search/pre-employment-transition-services-pre-ets-dreamchasers-community-services/

Alliance Center for Independence - https://www.adacil.org/dvrs-services

Progressive Center for Independent Living - http://pcil.org/wioa-pre-ets/

If you've already tried all these and I've just become that annoying "know-it-all" please say so. I don't want to further frustrate you. I'd also be willing to set up a time to chat if you think it would be helpful.

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Thank you! This is very helpful!

We did a couple of sessions of pre-employment transition services that were outsourced to a third party group. But the information was really boring and useless. Dumb "Job Theory" stuff. He made us meet him in a noisy Starbucks. And then the guy stopped showing up and we just sat there waiting for him.

We gave up.

My son is doing well with his college classes and his transition program, so we're concentrating on that for the moment.

We're in Bergen County.

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An awesome article Laura, thanks so much for sharing this. I run the NYC Autism Community Group and love sharing your articles they are so informative and stark. My daughter is soon to be 17 on the spectrum and we hope and pray she will be self-determining. Our group and that of our new non profit is to encourage parents to look more towards holistic, innovative and tech oriented solutions, vs. mainstream drugs and ABA services which don't serve our autistic children. You eloquently speak to another important aspect--wading through the services, paperwork and process. It's insane that the only way you can get the kind of education by law our autistic children are entitled to is by suing the DOE at our expense to get access to services. System. Broken. Health Care paradigm, broken. But we keep on to create a new paradigm. It's an honor to read your articles.


Richard Schreiber

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Thank you, Richard, for your kind comment and for your work in the community. Your work is SO important.

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