On World Autism Awareness Day, how can we help Hong Kong's autistic youngsters become more independent?

South China Morning Post

Survey finds most employers have autistic staff, but they know little about the syndrome or ways to cope with it

South China Morning Post |

Latest Articles

All 41 Indian workers rescued after 17 days trapped in a tunnel

SOTY 2022-23: Performing Artist first runner-up uses dance to convey powerful stories

Move over Met Gala: Mutt Gala’s dog art auction to help UK rescue charity

Join us and revel in the fun ‘In The Common Room’ on RTHK Radio 3

US White House holiday decor features likeness to Biden family pets

hief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (right) visited the Heep Hong Society in Pok Fu Lam in March

About half of young adults with autism have never held a job for more than a year, and two thirds of employers have little or no knowledge of the syndrome, a recent study has found.

Heep Hong Society, an autism support group, called on the government to improve employment support services for youngsters with autism and other special needs, in time for World Autism Awareness Day on Monday, April 2. Incentives for employers and more education were also needed to reduce discrimination against jobseekers with special needs, the society said.

“The government, as the largest employer in Hong Kong, should lead the way by providing more internship posts for young people with special needs,” said Heep Hong’s regional manager, Godwin Cheung Chi-sing.

Heep Hong polled 45 autistic service users, who had an average age of 26, and 27 employers. Half of the autistic youth reported that the most long-lived job they had ever had lasted for less than one year, among which more than half lost their jobs within three months. Among the 35 employed at the time of the survey, most were working as clerks, and catering and logistics staff. Though all of them had secondary or higher education, and more than 70 per cent received vocational training, their median monthly income was HK$6,700 – about half the median salary for general employees aged between 20 and 29 in 2016.

Though 78 per cent of employers had autistic employees, more than 66 per cent said they had little or no knowledge of the syndrome or ways to cope with it.

Edited by Pete Spurrier

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy