To date there have been few studies of the transition from child to adult healthcare among young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD.
To investigate the transition of young adults with an ASD from child to adult services.
We reviewed adults aged 18-23 years diagnosed with ASD at a specialist tertiary referral clinic during a 6 month period for evidence of planned transition from child to adult health services. ASD was diagnosed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) or Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
50% of those diagnosed with ASD had been previously known to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Of these, none had experience a planned transition to an adult mental health services. Yet, all of those previously known to CAMHS reported a lack of current friendships; 93% experienced educational difficulties (e.g. dropping out of university), 85% required daily support with adaptive behaviours, 20% had been homeless, 20% had acquired a forensic history, 12% had been sexually exploited, and 12% had a drug and alcohol problem
Preliminary results suggest that young adults with ASD are poorly transitioned from children to adult health services and the findings suggest that they are highly vulnerable to difficulties as they move into adult life. This has significant health and economic implications. We plan to present data from a larger 12 month sample at the conference investigating the transition of young adults with ASD and associated co-morbid difficulties.
See more of: Clinical Phenotype
See more of: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Phenotype