, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 751-752
Date: 27 Mar 2013

Adults with Autism—A New Minority

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While autism is generally considered a disorder of childhood, its dramatically increasing prevalence,1 combined with the lack of known treatment that completely ameliorates associated disabilities,2 means that autism is rapidly becoming a disorder of adulthood as well. People with autism will spend the majority of their lives—and receive the overwhelming bulk of their health care—as adults.3

Research on healthcare experiences of individuals with autism has been almost uniformly limited to studies of children and their families, who consistently report more difficulty obtaining health care for their children and less satisfaction with that care, once received.4 In recognition of the critical dearth of research regarding adults with autism, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Council, the body charged with advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services on autism research, policy and practice, devoted an entire chapter of its seven-chapter strategic plan to the needs of adults.5 That ...