Relatively little is known about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in later life, though the available evidence indicates that it is as prevalent as in childhood and youth. The current study was an on-line questionnaire (of basic biographical information, general health, quality of life and score on the Autism Quotient [AQ] measure) of UK-resident adults in their forties who had been diagnosed with ASD or suspected they had ASD. The findings indicated health and quality of life problems very significantly greater than the population norms, with strong indications that prototypical problems of younger people with ASD (such as social isolation and anxiety) persist throughout adult life, even in individuals in high-income professions. Respondents who thought they had ASD were qualitatively identical to respondents with a formal diagnosis - only the strength of symptoms differed. Scores on the AQ measure did not correlate with other symptoms. Although the study is of a relatively small number (N = 29) of people and there are limitations imposed by the study's design, the findings are robust, and indicate an urgent need to examine ASD in the older population using a larger, more demographically representative study.
|Pages (from-to)||22 - 28|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|
- autism spectrum disorder