Autism through the ages: A mixed methods approach to understanding how age and age of diagnosis affect quality of life

GRAY ATHERTON, Emma Edisbury, Andrea Piovesan, LIAM CROSS

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Abstract

A significant proportion of autistic adults today were not diagnosed until later in life, a group referred to as the ‘lost generation,’ which may affect mental health. In Study 1 we explored quality of life and autistic trait levels in 420 autistic and TD adults, and in Study 2 we explored the experiences of 8 autistic adults diagnosed as adults. We found that autistic adults had lower quality of life outcomes and higher autistic trait levels which related to age of diagnosis, and qualitative findings indicated that while adults were empowered by their new diagnosis, they still require specialized supports. Our findings are discussed, emphasizing future directions and lications
for the current care system in place for autistic adults.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • autism
  • adulthood
  • mental health
  • autism quotient
  • quality of life
  • mixed methods

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