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New Studies Emphasize Lack of Services for Young Adults with Autism

September 05, 2013

Two new studies released this week provide insight into the lack of services and opportunities available for young adults with autism in the areas of employment and independent living.

“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, as well as a member of the Autism Speaks Family Services Committee, 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.” 

In Postsecondary Employment Experiences Among Young Adults With an Autism Spectrum Disorder, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Shattuck’s team reports that young adults with autism spectrum disorders have worse employment outcomes in the first few years after high school than do peers who have other types of disabilities.

In Prevalence and Correlates of Postsecondary Residential Status Among Young Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, another study published this week in the journal Autism, members of Dr. Shattuck's research team report that young adults on the autism spectrum are less likely to have ever lived independently after high school, than adults with other disabilities. 

Read more about both studies from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute here.

Autism Speaks will be hosting a town hall meeting at 7PM this Monday, September 9th to highlight small business initiatives in the area employing young adults and adults with autism. To participate or for more information, email

Check out all Autism Speaks Adult Services initiatives here