PHILADELPHIA -- For young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), making the transition from school to the first rites of independent adult life, including a first job and a home away from home, can be particularly challenging.
Two newly published studies show precisely how stark the situation is for finding success in employment and independent living among young adults on the autism spectrum, compared to their peers with other types of disabilities. The researchers emphasize the need to strengthen services to help adolescents and young adults and their families with transition planning.
"Roughly 50,000 youth with autism will turn 18 years old this year," said Dr. Paul T. Shattuck, an associate professor in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and Drexel University School of Public Health, who co-authored both studies. "So many of these young people have the potential to work and participate in their communities. Supporting this potential will benefit everyone -- the person with autism, the family, employers and society."
Employment Outlook: Just Over Half with ASDs Had Ever Worked for Pay
In the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Shattuck's team reports that young adults with autism spectrum disorders have worse employment outcomes in the first few years after high school than do peers who have other types of disabilities.
"Not only was the employment rate low for young people with ASDs when compared with young adults with other disabilities, but pay for jobs -- if they got them -- was significantly lower compared to young adults with other types of disabilities," said Anne M. Roux, senior research coordinator at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, who led the employment study as a member of Shattuck's research team while both were at Washington University in St. Louis.
They report that just over half (53.4 percent) of the young adults on the autism spectrum they su
|Contact: Rachel Ewing|