Dr. Lisa Audet is an extremely knowledgeable special education teacher, SLP, and professor at Kent State. In fact, over 20 years ago she was my professor! She specializes in communication and independence for you autistic adults, works with these individuals on her campus, and has a unique viewpoint for those of us working with younger adults with autism at the middle and high school level.
Because socially and academically the needs are very different from high school to college or work based settings, it can be hard for parents and professionals to identify the needs for students preparing for transitions. Dr. Audet identifies these needs as learning a sense of self, self-care skills, and understanding their strengths. As therapists, we often focus on students’ needs and teaching them new skills, but approaching therapy with a strength-based model can help students self-identify and determine jobs and settings that best suit them.
Self-monitoring is so important for everyone. For autistic individuals, this can provide success in a variety of ways. This means understanding when they are uncomfortable, when they have a need, or how to understand and repair a relationship or situation when they’ve missed a boundary. Dr. Audet uses the Stop-Think-Make a Plan method for her students to teach them to assess their situation and determine solutions before a problem arises.
Older autistic students in high school may be preparing for college or for placement in a work setting. Dr. Audet talks about the ways we can not only set up the student for success but educate employers on the individuals in the work environment. Students should be entering work environments that align with their interests, strengths, and desires, not what “makes sense” to the providers they work with. Alternatively, there is work to be done in the education of employers because many times fear of hurt feelings prevents great learning and developmental opportunities from taking place.
As a professor at Kent State, Dr. Audet has a great understanding of what Ohio has to offer its young autistic adults as well as other individuals with other disorders. The Office for Ohioans with Disabilities has a vocational counselor on every state campus. She shares all of the great resources they can provide to students who voluntarily seek their assistance. The Organization for Autism Research has a book that is a great resource for college bound individuals with autism.
There is a lot to be done to support and initiate success for young autistic adults, especially with their varying places on the spectrum. Every state varies on the resources they provide, so be sure to look into all of the resources and options available locally to you!
Dr. Lisa Audet is on faculty in Speech Pathology & Audiology at Kent State University (KSU). She has over 35 years of experience as a special educator and speech language pathologist working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental and behavioral disabilities. Dr. Audet facilitates the Autism Initiative for Research Education and Outreach at KSU and is one of the founding developers of the Autism Certificate and Minor at KSU. She has focused on supporting autistic college students at KSU, creating programs that encourage advocacy and a neurodiversity understanding of autism. She has developed and engaged in study abroad opportunities focused on understanding autism from a cultural perspective with colleagues in Brazil. Dr. Audet was the owner of Communication & Learning Consultation Services that is now Beyond Speech Communication Intervention Center. Dr. Audet has published and presented at the local, state, national, and international level.
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