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Young Adults with Autism At Disadvantage After High School
Young adults withِ autism face moreِ barriers inِ the years rightِ afterِ high school thanِ graduates whoِ haveِ other kinds ofِ learning disorders, a newِ study finds.
The researchers reviewed a national database toِ seeِ howِ recent high school graduates withِ anِ autism spectrum disorder (ASD) fared inِ terms ofِ finding employment orِ goingِ on toِ postsecondary education.
The researchers foundِ that, onِ average, 35 percent ofِ the graduates withِ autism didِ not participate inِ furtherِ education orِ join theِ work force, a higher rate thanِ anyِ other group.
A lack of research
While thereِ hasِ beenِ increased awareness ofِ autism andِ more emphasis onِ early intervention forِ children withِ theِ condition, thatِ hasn’tِ translated toِ adults withِ autism.
What’s important toِ realize isِ that theِ majority ofِ a typical lifespan isِ spent inِ adulthood, saidِ Shattuck.
The vast majority ofِ autism research toِ date hasِ focused onِ very young children.
Many with autism find that help for them diminishes once they pass school age.
Their needsِ becomeِ more complex, services areِ limited andِ the service systems areِ often uncoordinated, saidِ Amy Matthews, director ofِ the START Project atِ Grand Valley State University inِ Allendale, Mich.
Some folks mayِ need helpِ in terms ofِ supports forِ employment orِ job coaching, othersِ mayِ need helpِ in order toِ live independently, saidِ Lisa Goring, vice president ofِ family services forِ Autism Speaks, whichِ wasِ oneِ ofِ the funders ofِ the study.
Before theyِ graduate fromِ school, thereِ areِ education entitlements, Goring said.
A worsening problem
With the rising number of autism diagnoses, those backlogs will only get worse, Goring said.
Going forward, Shattuck said, researchers couldِ draw onِ the newِ study asِ a baseline toِ seeِ whether interventions areِ succeeding inِ improving students’ lives.
We canِ really getِ atِ some questions thatِ haven’tِ beenِ poked atِ very muchِ inِ autism research, heِ said.
One of the findings showed the impact of financial resources on employment and education.
Young adults inِ the study received a grade (from 1 toِ 4) forِ their autism severity.
Among thoseِ with theِ leastِ severe condition, 3 percent whoِ wereِ fromِ families withِ incomes aboveِ $75,000 hadn’tِ entered college orِ foundِ employment.
That number wasِ 13 percent forِ students fromِ families withِ lessِ than $25,000 inِ income.
The study appears online today (May 14) in the journal Pediatrics.
Pass itِ on:After high school, manyِ with autism haveِ difficulty finding places inِ higher education orِ jobs, asِ well asِ fewer services toِ helpِ them along.