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Autism spectrum disorder grown up: a chart review of adult functioning.

Author information

  • 1University of Melbourne Medical School, Melbourne, Australia. kmarriage@cw.bc.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To survey the adult functioning of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and to compare the outcomes for those diagnosed in childhood with those diagnosed as adults.

METHODS:

Using a chart review, we evaluated the adult outcomes for 45 individuals diagnosed with ASD prior to age 18, and compared this with the functioning of 35 patients whose ASD was identified after 18 years. Concurrent mental illnesses were noted for both groups.

RESULTS:

Adult outcome was poorest for those with the combination of ASD and Intellectual Disability (ID). The sub- group of individuals with Autism identified in adulthood whose functioning was assessed after 25 years of age had achieved more in the areas of education and independent living. All three groups had a high frequency of psychiatric co-morbidity.

CONCLUSION:

While co-morbid ID and ASD generally imply a poor outcome, for children and youth with ASD and normal range IQ, adult functioning is more variable and difficult to predict. Because of delays in ongoing social development, some of these individuals may attain educational, independent living and relationship goals, but reach them a decade or more later than typical for the general population.

KEYWORDS:

Asperger’s Disorder; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Intellectual Disability; adults with Autism

PMID:
19881941
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2765385
Free PMC Article
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