Assessment tools for the career planning of adolescents and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders: a systematic review

Silvia Iacomini, Federica Berardo, Francesca Cavallini, Anna Dipace


Background: Vocational outcomes for people with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ND) are generally limited. When planning a career path for this population, it would seem essential to consider employability as a complex process that is challenging for the individual with ND because it depends on many skills and how they match the work environment.
Methods: We systematically reviewed the scientific contributions in the literature describing procedures for assessing work preferences and interests, soft skills and other relevant interpersonal skills, and job matching for adolescents and adults with ND. Specifically, this review aims to explore these assessment strategies to help mental health professionals design a career pathway for people with ND. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed, using PsycInfo, Scopus, Web of Science, and Pub Med. A total of 22 papers were included in the final analysis.
Results: The results showed no pre-employment assessment procedures for individuals with ND that are strongly scientifically validated to date. However, an assessment that includes self-report tools and computer-based procedures for assessing work preferences, job matching, and soft skills could help people with ND develop a sense of self-efficacy about their abilities.
Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of implications for professional practice and future research perspectives.

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