Dec 26, 2013 7:49 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Group helps autistic adults find jobs

A local autism support group is making it a mission to get more adults with the disorder a full time job. The Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center says employment can offer an autistic person independence and security.

A typical work day for 30-year old David MacFarlane includes analyzing circuit boards and checking equipment functionalities at Scientific Drilling in Paso Robles, but before he found his niche at SDI, life was not always easy.

That's because MacFarlane suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It can affect his social interaction, communication skills and behavior. Landing a full-time job seemed impossible, until he learned about "Destinations: Supported Employment Program."

The Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center helps adults with ASD land jobs. They've test-driven the program at Scientific Drilling and hope to expand to other businesses throughout San Luis Obispo County.

MacFarlane says his job at Scientific Drilling has given him hope for the future and happiness. It's proof, he says, that ASD will not run his life.

"I feel like I'm important here," he says. "The work I do matters and counts, and every day I wake up looking forward to being here."

The Destinations program has employed four adults with ASD so far and program officials hope to help another four get jobs at Scientific Drilling by the end of the year.

Click here for more information about the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center and the Destinations program.



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