Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for FAMILY
How is Teachability different from other programs and services for autism?
We give the families total control when it is time to plan transition services. Many schools and agencies do not know how to find businesses willing to offer relevant opportunities for individuals with autism.
In addition, our program takes away the pressure of an internship or a job and allows the participant to learn on their terms. Other wonderful programs and services are oftentimes limited in terms of time, location, and content. Teachability offers a wide range of opportunity for personal growth and development that sets our students up for a lifetime career.
Will my child ever be able to work?
Of course individuals with autism are able to work. Autism is actually a competitive advantage in many process driven businesses. Unfortunately, the opportunities are limited because of misguided and dated ideas.
We are teaching businesses with no experience with autism how to have the ability to engage in a meaningful and profitable way. Teachability is offering a do-it-yourself strategy so that each participant, ages 14-26, will be able to prepare for the workforce, on his or her own terms.
Does Teachability guarantee employment for my child?
No. This is a program. Instead of hiring a tutor to help with homework at home, you hire a business mentor and job tutor to help with job skills at the worksite.
How do I know if my child qualifies for the program?
Having an interest in the program and no history of violent behavior is required.
Will my child be safe while they are participating in the program?
Teachability provides a general framework for a safe experience. It is up to each family to provide specific accommodations for the participant’s safety.
FAQs for BUSINESS
Why would a small business be willing to do this?
Small businesses have many reasons to do this program – among them are:
- Increasing visibility in the community
- Cash flow
- Professional growth and development
How can small businesses accommodate an autistic employee?
Simple visual supports, like a timeline, a schedule, a photo, or checklist are the easiest and most effective ways to accommodate an autistic employee. Patience and a calm demeanor are also effective. Teachability does not directly support employment services but our hope is that participants will be better prepared and find it easier to get a job.
Who pays for this service?
Families pay the business mentor and the job tutor; however, many mentors and/or tutors may offer to waive the fee. Scholarships are available to those with proven financial need.
Corporate partners pay for the internship placement with businesses.
If you are a corporation interested in partnering with Teachability click here.
Will it be too much work for me?
It may take a little time to set up – spending time getting compliance approval, assessing appropriate tasks, learning the basics of autism, learning the basics of mentorship, for example. But once you have spent 2-3 hours of time preparing, and once you get over the feeling of uncertainty, this experience will improve your business and your life in ways you cannot imagine. It will broaden the scope of your business and your personal outlook.
I am interested in hosting a Teachability intern – is there something I should read?
Here’s a surprise answer. Don’t read anything. That’s right. There is too much information about autism that may not apply to the intern(s) that you host at work. Rather than reading, talk to the people that know the intern, whether it’s a teacher, parent, or friend.
You don’t want to learn about autism as much as you want to learn about your particular intern. Develop trust with any intern, with or without autism, by having a calm, accessible demeanor. Be clear with instructions. Be patient with them. We offer some simple basic tips and printable forms that make getting to know each other easy.
How long will it take to learn how to mentor and to set up a program?
It depends. How long will the experience last? One, three or 12 hours? 36 or 72 hours? Will you delegate the daily responsibilities or be a hands-on mentor? It might take longer to get permissions if you work for a company that is bureaucratic. It might take no time if it’s up to you to make the decision. It might take the intern weeks before they are ready to show up for a trial run or even a one-hour tour. Or maybe they can start immediately. Having a liaison, like a job tutor, who will facilitate this experience will lessen the time it takes to develop a successful mentoring experience.
Not sure what jobs might be appropriate? Teachability will lead a task analysis/ brainstorming process with your team.
In short, the kind of mentorship that you and the student set up informs the answer to this question.
What if the intern makes a scene, or breaks something?
First, many students with autism are not going to even consider making a scene or breaking something. If this is still a concern, then prevention is key. Allow your intern to take as many breaks as needed. That would be the number one answer.
Because these experiences are customizable, it would be a good idea to ask the job tutor this and any other question like this before the first day. You may even want to fill out any legal documents if this is a serious concern.
In addition, our program sources and vets prospective interns through an interview process and does not accept anyone with a violent history.
What if I say something embarrassing? Will the parents call me and get angry?
With Teachability’s program, the job tutor will be responsible for any work related faux pas; in fact, the parents are instructed NOT to call the business mentor but rather communicate via the job tutor. Trust us, this is not the first rodeo for many of these students. It won’t be the first or last time someone says something awkward. What is most important is a sincere effort on your part to understand your intern.
Will I be sued?
Teachability’s legal team has developed every contract imaginable in order to prevent this worry and insure your business interests are protected.