Adult Outcomes in Autism

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  • Study director: Bryna Siegel, PhD
  • Sponsor: UCSF
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: Early Childhood Predictors of Adult Outcomes in Autism
  • Conditions studied: Adults who were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder before the age of 4 at the UCSF Autism Clinic
  • Purpose: In the past 15 years, estimates of autism prevalence have increased from 1:800 (DSM-IV, APA, 1994) to as high as 1:110 presently (2008, CDC). It is known that 95% of California adults diagnosed with autism are unemployed and in residential treatment (SMART, 2010) and that this is consistent with current research. If as these data suggest, most adults have limited prognoses, studying predictors of outcomes among those currently just reaching adulthood can provide an understanding of how to provide positive and cost-effective treatment. Young adults with autism who are now 21–26 years old are the first cohort to have received years of intensive and costly one-to-one services for autism that now have become the legal standard for a "free and appropriate public education." (IDEIA, 2004).


  • Inclusion criteria:
    • Male or female, at least 21 years old
    • Diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder
    • Diagnosis before the age of 4
    • Original diagnosis completed at the UCSF Autism Clinic
  • Exclusion criteria:
    • None

What is involved?

  • Testing: We will be contacting the individuals who meet the criteria listed above to interview them and their caretakers on their treatment history and current level of functioning. An autism assessment and assessment of daily living skills will be included.
  • Frequency of visits: 1 in-person visit to the UCSF Autism Clinic
  • Materials needed prior to evaluation: None, although records of early intervention treatments and programming would be helpful
  • Costs: None

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