home
RSS
Evidence weak that vocational programs help young adults with autism
August 28th, 2012
09:11 AM ET

Evidence weak that vocational programs help young adults with autism

Google "vocational interventions for young adults with autism" and you'll get more than 200,000 results. But a new study finds there's little science to backup the efficacy of current methods used to help young adults with these neurodevelopmental disorders segue into the workforce.

"There's startlingly little information on the best ways to help adolescents and adults with autism achieve their maximum potential in the workplace and across the board," says lead study author Julie Lounds Taylor.

Taylor and her colleagues at Vanderbilt University sifted through more than 4,500 studies that made reference to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and therapies and found only 32 studies published between January 1980 and December 2011 that met their basic criteria, including having at least 20 study participants between the ages of 13 and 30.

But some studies were in children with autism; a lot of them were descriptive and didn't really test an intervention; and a fair number weren't really studies at all but commentaries, according to Taylor.

In the end, the researchers found only five studies that focused on vocational interventions. While this handful of studies looked at certain on-the-job programs designed to support young adults with autism and suggest these "interventions" can improve quality of life and reduce symptoms of autism, the study authors concluded, "all studies were of poor quality."

They say these studies had serious flaws including the randomization or comparison groups, which makes it difficult to draw any conclusions.  Lack of follow-up and the fact that most studies were small also contributed to the researchers' deeming the quality of the research as poor.  The study was published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, says she finds it remarkable that only five studies that address vocation skills were published in the last three decades and all were of poor quality.

"There is a tremendous knowledge gap regarding how to help young people with autism be successful in the work environment," Dawson says.

According to the latest CDC estimates, 1 in 88 children in the United States has some form of autism.  For boys the incidence may be as high as 1 in 54. The CDC bases these latest estimates by looking at data on 8-year old children from health and special education records of living in 14 areas of the United States - part of the ADDM network - during 2008.  These 14 areas include 8% of the American population of 8-year-old children, according to the CDC.  Health officials use this age as a benchmark because by age 8, most children with autism should be identified as receiving services.

The education system is the primary source of treatment for most families, as the government is mandated to provide an education for all children - including children with disabilities.

However, once children with autism turn 21, they age out of the education system and often have nowhere to go. Parents are acutely aware of this, and what will happen to these children as they and their parents age is a huge concern.

When you consider the latest CDC prevalence data, those 1 in 88 children who were 8-year olds in 2008 are now on the cusp of adolescence.  Even using 2002 CDC estimates, when the estimate for autism was believed to be one in about 150 children, that would mean there are 1 in 150 18-year olds with autism living in the United States today.

In January 2011, Lee Grossman, then president of the Autism Society, told CNN that these young people are generally unemployed, living in poverty. "Their ongoing needs are not being addressed," he said. (Grossman left the organization after nearly 20 years six months later.)

Given these statistics, finding ways to help young adults support themselves and continue to thrive becomes even more urgent. Taylor thinks this new research could be a possible wake-up call.

She says the studies that have been done and their lack of evidence show that "we're on the front-end of understanding autism and adulthood."

As an assistant professor of pediatrics and special education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Taylor's research focuses on how adolescents transition into adulthood.  She believes just as parents have been a driving force in pushing for more research in the cause of autism, they too can influence where the field moves in the future.

"We need more funding to do research," she says.  That research would help determine which vocational programs will work for which person with autism given the range of the spectrum, a range that spans "someone who can go to college to someone who has severe intellectual disabilities."

Taylor is hopeful that the research landscape will change and that there will be far more useful data collected in the coming decade compared to the last three.  Autism Speaks as well as the National Institutes of Health have already launched several studies focused on improving quality of life for adults with autism.


soundoff (857 Responses)
  1. Optometrists Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually believed you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    https://clients1.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&url=https3A2F2Fsunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 4, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. lifestyle group

    I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://www.pctechref.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.menmastermind.com

    May 4, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. fleet vehicle repair

    I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.

    https://cse.google.vg/url?sa=t&url=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com

    May 4, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. aika online private server source

    http://www.zakliczyn.com/katalog/go.php?site=https3a2f2faikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. peterbilt truck

    https://images.google.com.pk/url?rct=i&sa=t&url=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com

    May 4, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. aika online private server source

    I really like it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great website, keep it up!

    http://astv.ru/redirect?url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. aika online private server

    http://images.google.co.il/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Free Contact Lens Exam

    I love it when folks get together and share opinions. Great blog, continue the good work!

    http://transindex.ro/t/?url=https://eyedoctorphoenixaz.com

    May 4, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Eye Doctor Near Me

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

    https://image.google.at/url?sa=j&rct=j&url=https://optometristphoenixaz.com

    May 4, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. kenworth truck repair

    http://papermodelers.com/forum/redirect-to/?redirect=https://ocrvfleetservices.com

    May 4, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Maintenance Orange County

    https://1c-hotel.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=partners_out&event2&goto=https://ocrv.mobi

    May 5, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Eyewear Near Me

    http://www.migration.ru/redirect/?url=https://bettersightovernight.com

    May 5, 2021 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. marketing training online

    https://countysportszone.com/pages/redirect.php?url=https://mastermindofmen.com

    May 5, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Interior Remodeling Riverside

    You're so awesome! I don't believe I have read something like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    https://clients1.google.tt/url?sa=t&url=https://ocrvcenter.org

    May 5, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. aika private server english

    http://cse.google.co.cr/url?q=https://aikareborn.com

    May 5, 2021 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. uhaul trailer repair near me

    https://local.google.cf/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    May 5, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. aika private server files download

    I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new things you post…

    https://clients1.google.lv/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 5, 2021 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Fiberglass Near Me

    https://images.google.com.co/url?sa=i&rct=j&url=https://customcampervans.com

    May 5, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Collision Repair Orange County

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

    http://image.google.com.ua/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://ocrvcenter.info

    May 5, 2021 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. online health coach

    This is the right webpage for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    http://cse.google.tm/url?q=https://masteringthemanwithin.com

    May 5, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. peterbilt 325

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now 😉

    https://www.google.com.ar/url?q=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com

    May 5, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Countertops California

    Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

    http://local.google.ad/url?q=https://ocrvmotorsports.info

    May 5, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ram promaster high roof

    Good post. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!

    http://www.local.google.co.kr/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://ocrvfleetservices.com

    May 5, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Best Prescription Sunglasses

    https://cse.google.mk/url?q=j&rct=j&url=https://sunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com

    May 5, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. frozen yogurt near me

    I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.

    http://www.lontrue.com/ADClick.aspx?SiteID=206&ADID=1&URL=http://ocrvcenter.org

    May 5, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. nearest truck repair shop

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    https://images.google.kz/url?sa=t&rct=j&url=https://fleetrepairshops.com

    May 5, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. handicap van conversion

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    http://kinokradco.ru/on.php?url=http://www.boxtruckrepairshop.com

    May 6, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. shoe store near me

    You should take part in a contest for one of the highest quality websites on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

    http://www.youngangels18.com/cgi-bin/at3/out.cgi?id=310&tag=toplist&trade=https://www.arizonasvision.com

    May 6, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. pleasure way camper van

    https://www.racingin.com/Ad/AdRedirect.aspx?Adpath=https://fleetrepairshops.com

    May 6, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. utility trailer repair near my location

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?

    http://thevorheesfamily.com/gbook/go.php?url=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    May 6, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. truck repair shops nearby

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!

    http://www.webooo.csidenet.com/zippo/naviz.cgi?jump=311&url=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com

    May 6, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. adhd membership

    After going over a few of the articles on your website, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think.

    https://image.google.com.co/url?rct=t&sa=t&url=https://menmastermind.com

    May 6, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Vsp Providers

    This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

    https://redirect.subscribe.ru/bank.banks,21279/20110705011329/39308=16725=16721=17975=18769=18462=18765/m16579932/-/eyedoctorphoenixaz.com/index.php

    May 6, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Inspection Los Angeles

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this information.

    https://maps.google.fi/url?q=j&rct=j&url=https://customcampervans.com

    May 6, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. dog parks near me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It's always helpful to read articles from other writers and use a little something from their sites.

    https://www.bradescoabrasuaconta.com.br/conteudo/pessoa-juridica/popext.aspx?url=https://www.postfallsholistic.com

    May 6, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. bike trails near me

    http://www.lifeshow.com.tw/show.php?ty5_id=1599&url=https://www.coolcatsupplystore.com

    May 6, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. best rv repair near me

    https://clipmega.com/watch?v=DandtrUVGD0

    May 6, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Forklift Tires Near Me

    This web site truly has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://www.youtube-loop.com/watch?v=kEbrTAZ0XMU

    May 6, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Stardew Valley Kegs

    http://frcc-mail.frcc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=allbrewsupplies.com/

    May 6, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. advance auto near me

    https://www.newhopecelebrates.com/partner/go-magazine/?target=http://www.rvmarketingexperts.com

    May 6, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. bucket truck california

    Good write-up. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!

    https://mimizo.ru/video/mFFcXHrhVX0

    May 6, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Forklift Extensions California

    https://www.vdyoutube.com/nl/watch?v=hFYSMBB4r54

    May 6, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Malt Liquor Beer

    https://image.google.com.bz/url?sa=t&url=https://howtobrews.com

    May 6, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Forklift Dealer

    https://local.google.im/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https3A2F2Fwildwestforkliftschool.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 7, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. medical supply store near me

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

    http://taboo.cc/out.php?https://www.newmomgiftshop.com

    May 7, 2021 at 04:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. best car ac repair near me

    https://krivoruky.ru/tv.php?c=aMf59t3yH14

    May 7, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. early voting near me

    https://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=hdorrh+HcDlQ+zUEnZU5qlfKZ1Cl53X6&url=https://postfallslocal.com

    May 7, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Party Kegs

    http://www.belantara.or.id/lang/s/ID?url=https://craftbrewersofboise.com

    May 7, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. New Forklift Service California

    I'm pretty pleased to find this page. I need to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to see new stuff on your web site.

    http://www.tunesbaby.com/yt/?x=ILxQvnpDP5M

    May 7, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. california horse trailers

    http://deturl.com/play.php?v=ng2XB4Uaj5s

    May 7, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.