Pre-Activity: Have the following data ready prior to activity to use for prompts, idea generation and discussion points.
Key Points & Summary of My Work Profile 1: Sensory and Environmental Factors
List environmental factors that are supportive of or neutral to student’s sensory needs and preferences:
Key Points & Summary of My Work Profile 2: What’s Happening on the Job
List jobs that are of interest to the student:
Key Points & Summary of My Work Profile 3: Emotions on the Job
List work environments & jobs that feel calming and emotionally regulating:
Key Points & Summary of My Work Profile 4: My Body at Work
List jobs and tasks that the student has done before and feels confident/happy doing:
Other Preparation: Make the following Concept Cards, draw visual on card to match word and increase comprehension and visualization.
- 3 Pace cards: fast, slow, medium
- 3 Task/Job cards: easy job , a mix of easy/hard job, hard job
- 4 Social Interaction Cards: Lots of people, some people, not many people, varied (groups of people in spurts/then less people)
- 3 Environment Cards – relaxing, exciting, interesting
1. Give the student a choice of 2 or 3 different jobs from your pre-activity list that the student has expressed prior interest in. Once student has selected job to evaluate, write it down in large letters at the top of the whiteboard.
2. Ask student to generate any words they associate with the job. Use information from pre-activity sheet to provide material and prompts based on things they have said before about said job. Write them down underneath the job title. Make sure to anchor who, what and where:
- who they would be working with (in general - customers, co-workers)
- what they would be doing
- where the job is located (type of environment)
3. Introduce Job Concept Cards: (see below for accommodations)
Make sure the student understands the following concepts in a work context:
- Pace – how fast or slow someone does something. Depending on the student’s vocabulary, other words can be substituted for pace such as “speed”. Pace on the job is typically associated with workplace expectations. Workplaces tend to be on a spectrum from fast-paced & production oriented to relaxed and self-pacing. Thus it may be helpful to reflect on the work context and culture, look at images, visualize the workplace environment. A visual scale can also be drawn out to better anchor the spectrum of fast to slow.
- Tasks – what someone is doing. Depending on the student’s vocabulary, other words can be substituted for task, such as “activity” or “job.”
- Social Interaction – how much the job requires one to be around people, expected to talk to them or work with them (customers or co-workers). Depending on the student’s vocabulary, other phrases can be substituted for social interaction such as “being around people” or “customers and co-workers.”
- Environment –location where the job takes place. Depending on the student’s vocabulary, other words can be substituted for environment such as “place.” Referencing a similar already known environment to the student can also help activate visualization.
4. Ask student to place the right card in each category next to the job being discussed by taping it to the white board/sticking it on the corkboard. Document job info generated as well as the cards the student chooses in each category (written or take a screen shot).
5. Verbally summarize what was generated: for example, “Working in a restaurant involves a lot of people, moving pretty quickly, lots of food smells, moving around in tight spaces, carrying things and the work seems a mix or easy and hard.” Wow, once we see that all together, do you want to learn more or try it some day? Are there enough good things about it for you that we should keep it on our list? Yes, No or Maybe? Note all responses.
6. Make observations when you see themes – example: “you really seem to go for jobs with a lot of people, or you have chosen many jobs that are in quiet environments. These pieces of information are gems we want to keep in mind because they will inspire you and help us come up with more job ideas for you.” Document all themes and patterns.
7. Repeat with all the potential jobs listed on pre-activity worksheet.
8. End each session verbally summarizing for student their top choices, jobs to explore and themes and patterns.
Note: If it is too cognitively challenging to assess multiple qualities of a job at the same time, the activity can be adjusted as follows: run all jobs through one concept at a time – Pace, Social Interaction, Task difficulty, or Environment. Once the student has evaluated each job according to one quality, then introduce the next concept card category.