TWERK: an employment initiative
The purpose of TWERK is to employ normally gifted people with autism or prepare them for employment.
Employment is very meaningful for all of us: employment contributes to a positive self-image, it gives us the chance to self-realization, certainty of one's living conditions and job satisfaction; employment is a useful means of spending one's time and energy.
Autistic adults have already often experienced the feeling of being a failure as a result of their autism. Therefore it is essential that they get the chance to experience that they 'are able to do something' and that they 'are useful'. And so continuity in support is indispensable.
Objectives for the employee
Both during the training and the supported work in an external firm or the workshop of TWERK, following points will be taken into account. TWERK offers:
- Predictability, clearness and safety:
- Fixed working hours, an own workshop, organised activities;
- Individual support:
- Personal support, clearly defined tasks, worked out for the person himself, according to the level of intelligence and to the difficulties as a result of autism;
- Individual adapted workshop:
- As they have difficulties of working in team, they are often in need of an own workshop, which is individually adapted;
- Tools adapted to individuals:
- Because problem behaviour is possible, the tools must be adapted to this, both for individual usage as for safety
- Pedagogical working material adapted to individuals:
- as persons with autism often have difficulties in giving the right meaning to something and in organizing their work independently, material adapted to the person will often be used: task analyses, individualized computer programmes, all sorts of visual aids such as work schemes, daily and yearly schedules...;
- Involvement in productive and significant work:
- It is difficult to make someone with an IQ above average to believe that weaving baskets is a meaningful activity. Therefore TWERK produces quality products. According to their possibilities, the employees are involved in all aspects of the entire production process, as in the additional activities like administration (stock management, enter of invoices, stock data, to keep the address file up to date...);
- Social guidance:
- Social contact within the company, guidance during the relocation from and to work, guidance at home (intense cooperation with the parents)...;
- Appreciation by pay:
- Since TWERK is convinced that people with autism are valuable employees, they are looked upon as colleagues and earn full wages.