Brief Report: Postsecondary Work and Educational Disruptions for Youth on the Autism Spectrum

J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Dec;47(12):4025-4031. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3305-z.


This study examined vocational/educational disruption in the 2-3 years after high school for 36 youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Data were collected three times from parents: during youth's last year of high school and two times after high school exit. Data were coded into categories indicating any versus no disruptions in postsecondary vocation/education, and group differences in individual (behavior problems, IQ, adaptive behavior, autism severity, stress reactivity) and family (parent depression, anxiety, quality of life; family income and climate) factors were examined. One-half of youth had experienced a postsecondary vocational/educational disruption; parents of those with a disruption had more depressive and anxiety symptoms and lower quality of life while their son/daughter was still in high school.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Employment; Parental anxiety; Parental depression; Postsecondary education; Transition to adulthood.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Education, Special / methods
  • Education, Special / statistics & numerical data*
  • Employment / psychology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Time Factors
  • Vocational Education / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult