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      100 years from now: comparing parental perspectives about supports for adults with autism in the USA and China

      , , ,

      Advances in Autism

      Emerald Publishing

      Autism, Transition, Adulthood, Aging, China, Services, International, Adults, Quality of life

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          Findings from a comparative qualitative study with parents in the USA and China increase the understanding of experiences of adults with autism in both countries.


          Semi-Structured interviews were conducted with families in the USA and in China. In total, 18 families participated in the study – 7 in the USA, 11 in China.


          Analysis of the comparative data led to the emergence of three overarching themes, expressing both similarities and differences in experiences: 1) transition to adult services plays out differently in the two nations, 2) parent advocacy and efforts in supporting and securing services for their children are strong in both countries but are also defined by the variability in access to services and 3) due to the scarcity of adult services in their country, Chinese parents express significantly more worries about their own aging and mortality as compared with USA parents.

          Research limitations/implications

          Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.


          By examining the experiences of families of adults with autism in the USA and China, the research reveals themes that would not be visible in a single-nation study.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Young adult outcome of autism spectrum disorders.

          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.
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            Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood.

            This report describes the post-high school educational and occupational activities for 66 young adults with autism spectrum disorders who had recently exited the secondary school system. Analyses indicated low rates of employment in the community, with the majority of young adults (56%) spending time in sheltered workshops or day activity centers. Young adults with ASD without an intellectual disability were three times more likely to have no daytime activities compared to adults with ASD who had an intellectual disability. Differences in behavioral functioning were observed by employment/day activity group. Our findings suggest that the current service system may be inadequate to accommodate the needs of youths with ASD who do not have intellectual disabilities during the transition to adulthood.
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              Transition From School to Adulthood for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders


                Author and article information

                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                04 June 2020
                20 July 2020
                : 6
                : 3
                : 241-254
                Department of Education, Hobart and William Smith Colleges , Geneva, New York, USA
                Department of Early Childhood Special Education, University of Maine at Farmington , Farmington, Maine, USA and The Five Project for International Autism and Disability Support, Randolph, Massachusetts, USA
                Department of Education, Hobart and William Smith Colleges , Geneva, New York, USA
                University of Rochester , Rochester, NY
                Author notes
                Diana Baker can be contacted at:
                646797 AIA-10-2019-0034.pdf AIA-10-2019-0034
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 40, Pages: 1, Words: 8761
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
                Custom metadata
                Web-ready article package

                Health & Social care

                China, Adulthood, Quality of life, Adults, Autism, International, Services, Transition, Aging


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