Since 2008 Matthew Bennett has been researching the lives of adults living with Asperger syndrome. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Disability and Community Inclusion at Flinders University, South Australia.

His PhD is on the education, employment and intimate relationship experiences of twenty-one adults living with Asperger syndrome in Australia. In 2002, at the age of 18, he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. After four years working for the South Australian and Australian Governments he decided to pursue a career in research and public advocacy for people living on the autism spectrum. His public advocacy work has included speaking at autism conferences and sitting on the 2013 Asia Pacific Autism Conference (APAC13) organising committee. Matthew currently lives in Adelaide. He enjoys travel, bush walking, and satirical comedy.

Matthew will present on Day 3, Symposium 12 - Transforming Futures - perspectives of adults with ASD.

Navigating life after school: When an adolescent living on the autism spectrum leaves school they often face the difficult task of finding available employment and education opportunities. In this thirty minute presentation Matthew will describe his PhD study on adults with Asperger syndrome and their experiences in education, employment and intimate relationship. He will explain how the adult participants were recruited and how their views and experiences were collected and analysed. He will then outline the main results of his study. He will explain the participant's recollections of being bullied at school. He will then explain the barriers which they faced with trying to obtain and maintain employment. Finally, he will summarise his study's findings in relation to adults with Asperger syndrome and intimate relationships. He will also propose a series of relevant recommendations to help adults on the autism spectrum succeed in education, employment and intimate relationships.

Also presenting in this Symposium:
Penelope Robinson
Jeanette Purkis