Disabled World post, September 5, 2013
“Many families tell us it’s like driving off a cliff when their child with autism exits high school because there just aren’t many options once they enter adulthood.”
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.”