Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Wehman, P., Schall, C., Carr, S.,Targett, P., West, M., Cifu, G. (2014). Transition From School to Adulthood for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder: What We Know and What We Need to Know. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 25 (1), 30-40.
Title:  Transition From School to Adulthood for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder: What We Know and What We Need to Know
Authors:  Wehman, P., Schall, C., Carr, S.,Targett, P., West, M., Cifu, G.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Disability Policy Studies
Publisher:  Sage publishing
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1044207313518071
Full text:  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1044207313518071   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals with ASD present unique challenges related to postsecondary employment outcomes. Employment rates for individuals with ASD, regardless of intellectual ability, reportedly range between 4.1% and 11.8%. Individuals with ASD have lower rates of participation in vocational or technical education, employment, and postsecondary education than their peers with speech and language impairment, learning disabilities, or intellectual disabilities as long as 7 years after high school. There is a small number of research regarding transition packages and models that might change this pattern of underperformance for youth with ASD.
Purpose:  The purpose of this article is to provide a review of key aspects in the transition process and identify recommendations for policy and practice by exploring four different elements in transition.
Setting:  This was a systematic review and the studies were taken in various high school, vocational schools and college locations.
Study sample:  This study used The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2) which reviewed outcomes for 922 individuals aged 13 to 26 with ASD from 2001 to 2009, regarding transition from school to adulthood. There was a focus on recent research literature that pertained directly to social communication, employment, college, and high school curricula.
Intervention:  N/A. This review had no intervention strategies
Control or comparison condition:  There were three different groups used in the NLTS study that were cross reviewed, these included students with ASD, students with all other disabilities and students in general education.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was analyzed and cross checked from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2) from 2001-2009, the reviewers own clinical research, and other recent research literature that pertains directly to social communication, employment, college, and high school curricula.
Findings:  A major finding of this literature review is that youth with ASD have significant untapped potential that has not been appreciated. Schools and community programs must partner earlier, more frequently, and more effectively with students with ASD, and their families, for students to achieve their potential and develop the educational foundation that can change their lives. There is also a need for further research to inform practice and improve post school outcomes for youth with ASD to demonstrate and document the potential of youth with ASD and a need for further controlled studies.
Conclusions:  Reviewers see a strong potential for students with ASD to be successful members of their communities, colleges, and workplaces. A recommendation of five different policies and practices are recommended in areas of: school curriculum, employment development, postsecondary education, inclusion with nondisabled peers, and systematic instruction.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Populations served:  Transition-age youth (14 - 24)
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Other