Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


What are the long term outcomes for people with Aspergers?

"What are some of the long term outcomes for people with Aspergers? I'd like to know what to expect when my Aspie becomes an adult and leaves the nest."

The long term outcomes for those with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism depends on the severity of their symptoms, their baseline IQ, their ability to communicate, and what kinds of interventions and support they receive. Those who come from supportive families, retain a reasonable sense of self-esteem, and become relatively well-educated, stand a good chance of getting into solid relationships, finding good jobs, and having a normal life.

In other cases, the Aspergers symptoms are severe enough to affect speech and interpersonal relationship, or the individual’s IQ is low enough to impair their ability to find a good job, leaving them with a low paying job or on disability.

Because some Aspergers individuals suffer from depression and OCD as adults, these secondary characteristics can negatively impact how the individual develops and grows into adulthood.

Several research studies have looked at outcomes in Aspergers. In one study, outcome was looked at in a cross section of people with the disorder. After a five year follow-up using specific outcome criteria, the outcome was found to be good in 27% of cases. However, in 26% of cases, the individual maintained a very restricted life, with no occupation/activity to occupy their time - and no friends.

Another study looked at outcomes in those with Aspergers to see which factors were more related to a poor or good outcome over time. It was found that language and communication skills were the greatest predictor of good outcome, with social interaction skills being a secondary predictor. The actual Aspergers symptoms (e.g., ritual behaviors and obsessions) were less likely predictors of outcome. The study indicated that early intervention directed at improving communication was a good idea.

Finally, researchers studied an eight year follow-up of a specialized job program for those with Aspergers  to see if such a program helped improve job outcome. For those with Aspergers (IQ 60+) over an 8 year period, approximately 68 percent of clients found employment. Of the 192 jobs found, most of the jobs were permanent contract work, and most involved administrative, technical or computing work. The study indicated that programs like these can be helpful in improving career outcome in people with Aspergers.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


•    Anonymous said... Depends on many things. Will they have something to medically help them in the future? Did they attend enough social skills classes to learn how to cope and such? Did their parents facilitate them "fitting into" society rather than making tons of exceptions for them? Many questions.
•    Anonymous said... I am HF autistic, never attended a social skills class, never had any assistance, and now am approaching 28 years old. I am married, have 2 children and have a full time job in real estate. My eldest is HF autistic too, we are teaching him HTML programming at the moment as he loves computer games. Eventually I want to teach him C++ and the like so he can make his own games. Our youngest is suspected to be on the spectrum also but he hasn't beed diagnosed yet (he's 2)
•    Anonymous said... It takes the dedication of a parent, caregiver. I always wondered that same question. I asked some specialists, doctors, and even with all the advances in therapy , it still comes down to many factors. My kids have jobs, and are in college. I was never able to rely on a school system to do the work, and get the therapy the needed. Being creative, with social skills is a must.
•    Anonymous said... my aspergers husband has been married to me for 48 yrs,his obsession is buses,so he is a bus driver,our oldest a/s daughter trained as legal sec but through mental healtth probs cant work at moment,younger a/s daughter is a rep for a charity,my a/s sister in law is an author,many books published,luckily most of mine have done o,k,both daughters lead independant lives,
•    Anonymous said... My aspie husband functions fine but does struggle to keep a job, his bosses love him as he is a hard worker, but he quits because he has never found a boss he likes and doesn't always understand why they don't do things his way. I work with lots of people with disabilities and most adults with aspergers cope better as adults than as children.
•    Anonymous said... My hubby has the perfect engineering job. Suits him and his skills perfectly. I have to manage alot of the other parts of life (social, not black and white issues). In his defense he has learned as we have gone on (from a counselor and myself) how to deal with them too. The right employment, support, and taught skills make all the difference.
•    Anonymous said... My son was just diagnosed (finally) with aspergers on last Tuesday..he's six and we really need to get him into social skills classes. Any recommendations on where those classes would be or where we should start? The school IEP we setup includes him going to social group 30 mins a week but that's it socially...
•    Anonymous said... Things seem to have turned out ok for Bill Gates.

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jean said...

my husband and grown children have aspergers,husband also has a.d.h.d.,but stayed in normal school,but failed exams due to poor concentration,his passion in life is transport and driving,so all his jobs involve this,he has neve3r been out of work and no depression,but still at 70 yrs old very manic and controlling,oldest daughter has a/s,a,d,h,d,plus serious mental health probs,has hi I Q but cant work,isolates herself,younger daughter very passive a/s with o,c,d,she works part time and raises her kids,so like every other family,it varies,but only ones who are happy are ones who made career out of thier obsession,

Anonymous said...

This is a great question. As a parent of a 21 year old can tell you they do grow up to be pretty amazing. He is able to do much more with continued support & coaching. This is an everyday topic of discussion amongst the parents & support program providers for young adults currently. We participated in a transitsion program specific to life skills & employment. This proved help significantly. Housing is now being a serious discussion as well between parents & providers. My hope is these initiatives will find the funding to support the young adult aspire community to foster greater independence. My son now drives, works part time & is motivated to be independent. However These supports I find to be necessary & ongoing.

Anonymous said...

Often I think that my personality would go over much better if I were rich. I don't do well with politics, I say what people are afraid to say, I don't get invited to social functions where deals and loyalties are made. I struggle daily with the interaction. I would never want my aspergers child to endure this for 20 plus years. Had I known I had aspergers, I would have stayed in a more technical field but even that would be hard because we aren't all innovators who can put thoughts to action. Most don't know how to turn the idea into steps. It's important that happiness and well being be the goal before "the ladder of success"....NASA engineer for 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Crystal ball anyone?I think the outcome depends on the imput .Simply stated in school some teachers get it some do not.Those who do get it deserve a crown those who do not get it miss a huge opportunity.The JOY is in the journey.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content