Brief Report: Healthcare Providers' Discussions Regarding Transportation and Driving with Autistic and Non-autistic Patients

J Autism Dev Disord. 2021 Dec 1;10.1007/s10803-021-05372-3. doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-05372-3. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To characterize healthcare and behavioral service providers' transportation-related discussions with their autistic and non-autistic patients.

Method: 78 providers completed a cross-sectional survey assessing their transportation discussions with patients. We used Mann-Whitney U tests and chi-square tests to compare differences in provider reports by patient diagnosis.

Results: Compared with one in two providers who reported they discuss transportation with non-autistic patients, only one in five have these conversations with their autistic patients. Few (8%) providers felt prepared to assess driving readiness in autistic patients, yet only a quarter refer patients elsewhere.

Conclusion: There is a critical need to develop resources for use in medical settings to effectively support autistic adolescents' independence and mobility as they transition into adulthood.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Driving; Healthcare providers; Transportation.