Correlates of daily functioning in older adults with autism spectrum disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Studies of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have demonstrated poor outcomes related to independence and everyday living skills compared to the general population. In a sample of 74 adults with ASD who require a high level of support we sought to identify correlates of daily functioning. Methods: We administered questionnaires to residential staff and identified participants’ independence level in basic and instrumental activities of daily living. Results: There was no association of age with daily functioning. Higher daily functioning was associated with a better general medical health rating. Functional independence was greater in participants with IQ range of 55 to 65 compared to those with IQ below 55. Language difficulties and behavioral disturbances were not significantly correlated with independence in daily living skills. In this sample, individual had held a median of three different types of jobs in supported employment. Conclusion: Daily functioning in adults with autism generally does not decline with age, but because this was cross-sectional data, this requires further confirmation. Community programs designed for adults with ASD who require a high level of support should focus on overall medical health and promotion of daily living skill building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1754-1762
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume24
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020

Keywords

  • Psychological and behavioural symptoms
  • challenging behaviour
  • functional status
  • intellectual disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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