This study reports an online survey that set out to find out more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in later life. The survey consisted of an online questionnaire (biographical information, general health, quality of life, score on Autism Quotient [AQ] measure) of adults in their forties, resident in the UK, diagnosed with ASD or who suspected they had ASD.
Responses from the survey suggested that responders had health issues and quality of life problems significantly greater than would be expected in the general population. Responses also suggested that issues for younger people with ASD (social isolation/anxiety) persisted throughout adult life.
The number of responses is small (n=29), but the author suggests that the findings add weight to the need for an examination of autism spectrum disorder in the older population.
What happens to people with autism spectrum disorders in middle age and beyond? Report of a preliminary on-line study, Stuart-Hamilton I & Morgan H, in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 5, 2, 22-28.