ASD and Employment Discussion to Focus on Preparation, Support and Opportunities

M-SPEC Presents:


Preparing Teens and Young Adults for the Challenges of Finding and Keeping Employment

Monday, April 13th at 7:30 pm
Fellowship Hall, Wyoming Presbyterian Church
432 Wyoming Ave., Millburn NJ

Employment rates for autistic adults are shockingly low, even for those who complete college. The odds can be improved by targeted social skills training and supported volunteer work during the pre-employment years, by an understanding of supports and services available post-21 and by an informed approach to workplace opportunities and obstacles. Some challenges vary with the level of disability, and some are common to everyone on the spectrum.

Presenters will include:

Dr. Jed Baker, the founder of the Social Skills Training Project and a consultant to Millburn schools

Jonah Zimiles, owner of Words Bookstore in Maplewood, which makes support for disabled workers a part of its mission

Alex Gitter, program supervisor of the Aspergers Skill Building Network of YAI, which offers vocational and social training in conjunction with William Paterson College.

Esther Vallas, admissions director of Vista Vocational and Life Skills Center in Connecticut, which offers residential training, job placement and support programs for ASD workers living independently

Laura Hynes, RDI consultant and former social skills coordinator of Spectra Academy

Moish Tov, founder and director of Joy Dew, which creates career opportunities for people with ASD.

This event is open to Millburn and non-Millburn residents alike, to parents, students, adults with autism, teachers, clinicians, friends, neighbors. Please spread the word!

M-Spec, the Millburn-Short Hills Special Education Committee, is an independent parent group open to all that seeks to improve outcomes for everyone’s children by pooling our knowledge, offering support and providing opportunities for learning. For more information, contact Sondra Kasdon at or John O’Neil at

The event is free. Donations and pledges will be accepted for a fund named after the late Dr. Marcia Sherman, an active M-SPEC member and director of the parent-run Spectra Academy. Each year an M-SPEC member who has provided notable support to his or her fellow parents will be honored for his/her work and asked to select books and other resources to be purchased by the fund and donated to the district in Marcia’s memory.

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