Supporting adults with autism spectrum disorders: Lessons from six decades of international research
Poon, K. K. (2012). Supporting adults with autism spectrum disorders: Lessons from six decades of international research. The International Journal of Special Education, 27(3), 134-147.
Research focusing on the intervention and support of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has grown exponentially but this increase research has not been mirrored for adults with ASD. With the aims of informing intervention planning, improving quality of life, and areas for future research, 18 peer-reviewed research articles reporting the outcomes of adults with ASD were systematically reviewed. Despite methodological limitations, the literature review revealed a surprisingly high level of concordance in findings. Adults with ASD continue to experience significant degrees of impairment in the core deficits and correspondingly poor outcomes in social role attainment. Based on these findings, suggestions for the development of intervention and educational programs were proposed. Whilst no studies have targeted the quality of life of adults with ASD, the findings suggest a poor quality of life based on objective indicators. Directions for future research were also proposed.