What are the long term outcomes for people with Aspergers?

The long term outcomes for those with Aspergers syndrome (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 syndrome individuals suffer from depression and OCD as adults, these secondary characteristics can negatively impact how an Aspergers syndrome individual develops and grows into adulthood. Some have landed in prison for violent behavior against others.

Several research studies have looked at outcome in Aspergers syndrome. In one study, outcome was looked at in a cross section of sufferers. After a five year followup using specific outcome criteria, the outcome in Aspergers syndrome 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 outcome in those who had Aspergers syndrome 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 like 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 8 year followup of a specialized job program for those with Aspergers syndrome to see if such a program helped improve job outcome. For those with Aspergers syndrome (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 Aspergers syndrome individuals.


  1. Chris Peters this makes sense. I've always said my son has come so far, but he still has a long way to go. starting treatments as early as possible, I believe, makes a huge difference too.

  2. Amy Stewart Fortin I totally agree with you and this post! I never had treatment and had a hard time in school. My 12 year old gets straight A's and has a strong support system at home. I want so much more and better for him. :)
    about an hour ago · Like

  3. Tish Newman Im worried whem my son turns 18.... He can leagally drink and go to clubs etc and i know he is going to get in lots of trouble and worry about his saftey. He is 15 and a half and is gettimg alot of anger issues in the past few mths
    am getting very worried about his safety
    2 hours ago · Like

  4. Chris Peters Tish- that is my big fear too. Joey is almost 15 and has alot of anger issues too. we can't drink till 21 in NJ, but still, I worry about how he will just manage day to day living when he has such a short fuse and is big and can be violent.

  5. Melissa Cove Voto Awww.. I have a Joey too!! He's 10 going into the 5th grade, and just recently become very physical with me. He's on the small side, as well as I am,but he doesn't even know his own stregnth.

  6. I'm glad to hear your son is improving everyday and has good family and outside support.. We have no real social group support for teens in our great state of RI...all they ever say is ..you can get on the list..my grandson suffers for this and I cry all the time..just don't know what to do...wish u and your family the best..my search goes on..markella carnevale of RI

  7. Glad to here your son is improving every day...I wish I could say the same..we don't have social support groups for teens in RI..just a long list to add our name to..very sad for my grandson..we search every day for help..brick walls are plenty in our great state of RI...I wish you and your family the best