Young adult outcome of autism spectrum disorders

J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Apr;38(4):739-47. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0441-x. Epub 2007 Sep 1.


To learn about the lives of young adults with ASD, families with children born 1974-1984, diagnosed as preschoolers and followed into adolescence were contacted by mail. Of 76 eligible, 48 (63%) participated in a telephone interview. Global outcome scores were assigned based on work, friendships and independence. At mean age 24, half had good to fair outcome and 46% poor. Co-morbid conditions, obesity and medication use were common. Families noted unmet needs particularly in social areas. Multilinear regression indicated a combination of IQ and CARS score at age 11 predicted outcome. Earlier studies reported more adults with ASD who had poor to very poor outcomes, however current young people had more opportunities, and thus better results were expected.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index