Jobs, relationships elude adults with autism

Nearly half of adults with autism live with a family member and about one in five is unemployed, according to a new analysis. Only 5 percent have ever been married.  The findings suggest that many middle-aged adults with autism have little independence.  The work echoes a study from last year that found that about half of adults with autism live with a family member. The unemployment rate in the new sample is only slightly lower than the 27 percent reported in that study.  Understanding the daily lives of adults with autism will help researchers identify the types of resources they need to succeed in various areas of life, says lead researcher Megan Farley, a senior psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Waisman Center.  The new work is “one of the first systematic” studies of housing and employment among people with autism in the United States, says Shaun Eack, professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. “This paper is incredibly important. It says that these children [with autism] do grow up, and they face tremendous challenges.”

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