“Moving the Needle” with Life Course Research on Autism

Saturday, May 14, 2016: 9:00 AM
Hall B (Baltimore Convention Center)
P. Shattuck, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
There have been many calls to “move the needle” on adult outcomes. What kinds of research might influence population-level outcomes and build the “gauges” that will let us see if the adult outcomes needle is moving over time? A life course perspective on autism has roots in sociology, public health and ecological models of human development. I will selectively describe some major tenets from this perspective. Then I will illustrate ways the AJ Drexel Autism Institute’s Life Course Outcomes research team has sought to examine specific topics and our attempts to connect research to policy and practice. Poor young adult outcomes are occurring despite historic record-setting levels of expenditures on research and interventions. My talk aims to stimulate discussion about how our field can tighten the linkage between research and improved outcomes that are observable at a population level.