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Autism Prevalence And Outcomes In Older Adults

J. E. Robison
Published 2019 · Psychology, Medicine

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Recent studies of mortality, illness, and suicide among autistic adults paint an alarming picture. Autistic people appear to die much earlier than the general population, and they seem to be far more vulnerable to a surprising range of medical problems. Suicide and depression seem far more common than in the general population. If correct, that suggests an older autistic population in silent crisis, with few if any supports. If so, older autistic people should be a focus for public health and human service agencies. But is the picture complete? Autism researchers ask for answers, identifying problems and their scope. This article discusses the limitations of our adult autism knowledge, and the challenges we will face studying adults. Researching and ultimately serving older autistic adults presents a unique set of problems that have not yet been addressed by scientists or clinicians. Autism Res 2019, 12: 370–374 © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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