Young Adults with Autism Lacking Education Necessary for Employment
- Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 10:08
The study, funded by the Department of Education, was of 2,000 special education students. Four types of disabilities were examined: speech/language impairment, learning disability, mental retardation and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The goal was to examine the prevalence of secondary education and employment. The study was based on data from 2007-08 and is the largest study of its kind, to date.
The study found that within two years of leaving high school, more than half of those with autism had had no college or vocational training and no job experience. Even after seven years 35 percent of them still had not participated in secondary education nor had they been employed. This number towered over the other disabilities studied: mental retardation - 26%, speech/language impairment - 7%, and learning disabilities - 3%.
The author of the study, Paul Shattuck, an assistant professor at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis said the findings "are quite a cause for concern." With the number of children with autism steadily increasing and about half a million reaching adulthood in the next decade, it is an issue that needs to soon be addressed.