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Structured Work Experience

Structured work experience helps students develop, practice and master work skills. Specific work-related skills and self-management skills are learned through hands-on paid experiences with community employers in apprenticeships, work study, or a summer job. As seen in the following video, structured work experience provides an in-depth, career education that cannot be replicated in simulated settings.



Evidence-based Practice: Example of Social Stories Supporting Individual

Most people are apprehensive when starting something new. Starting a new job, riding a new bus, meeting new people and other first-time experiences can cause a person to be anxious and nervous. Social stories are an evidence-based practice that can assist students in knowing what to expect in a new situation and can highlight what is happening, what is being said, and how to respond appropriately (Gray & Garund, 1993).


The social story below was created for staff and family to review with the student (Neisha) each workday. Because the support staff often changed on the job, the social story had the additional benefit of ensuring consistency in how Neisha was supported to perform tasks. (Use the play bar at the bottom of the screen to move between pages of the social story.)

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Austin, K. (2011). Teaching social skills through social narratives:Another evidence based practice.

Kids Can Dream. These stories use Boardmaker pictures with text.

Region 2 Digital Library. This site has several premade PowerPoint social stories with prerecorded audio –

The Watson Institute. These social stories cover elementary and high school issues. Some templates require pictures to be inserted. –