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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Young Adults and Independent Living: Depressing Data

In Autism, Kristy A. Anderson, Paul T. Shattuck and colleagues have an article titled "Prevalence and Correlates of  Postsecondary Residential Status Among Young Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder."

The abstract:
This study examined the prevalence and correlates of three living arrangements (with a parent or guardian, independently or with a roommate, or in a supervised setting) among a nationally representative sample of postsecondary young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. We assessed living arrangements since leaving high school. Compared with young adults with other disability types (learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or emotional disturbances), those with an autism spectrum disorder were more likely to have lived with a parent or guardian and least likely ever to have lived independently since leaving high school. Members of the autism spectrum disorder group were less likely to have ever lived elsewhere and more likely to live under supervision since leaving high school compared to persons with emotional disturbances and learning disabilities. Group differences persisted after controlling for functional ability and demographic characteristics. Correlates of residential independence included being White, having better conversation ability and functional skills, and having a higher household income. Further research is needed to investigate how these residential trends relate to the quality of life among families and young adults.
From the text of the study:
Compared with the other disability categories, young adults with an ASD were significantly more likely to have ever lived with a parent or guardian (87.1%) and less likely to have ever lived independently (16.6%) since leaving high school (Table 2). Also, young adults with an ASD experienced the highest rates of postsecondary residential continuity (79.1%). In follow-up analyses not shown in tables, we found no independent living among young adults with ASD who had been out of high school for 2 years or less at the time of the survey. In contrast, the comparable rate was 22.2% for youth in the MR group.