HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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The Long-Term Outcomes for People with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's?

"What are some of the long term outcomes for people with high functioning autism? I'd like to know what to expect when my 7 y.o. son becomes an adult and leaves the nest."

The long term outcomes for those with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's 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 symptoms of the disorder 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 individuals on the autism spectrum 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 people on the spectrum. 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 few friends.

Another study looked at outcomes in those on the spectrum 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 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 HFA and Asperger's to see if such a program helped improve job outcome. For those with an IQ of 60+, 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 the disorder.





More resources for parents of children and teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's: How to Promote Self-Reliance
 


PARENTS' COMMENTS:

•    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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content