Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 4025–4031 | Cite as

Brief Report: Postsecondary Work and Educational Disruptions for Youth on the Autism Spectrum

  • Julie Lounds Taylor
  • Leann Smith DaWalt
Brief Report


This study examined vocational/educational disruption in the 2–3 years after high school for 36 youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Data were collected three times from parents: during youth’s last year of high school and two times after high school exit. Data were coded into categories indicating any versus no disruptions in postsecondary vocation/education, and group differences in individual (behavior problems, IQ, adaptive behavior, autism severity, stress reactivity) and family (parent depression, anxiety, quality of life; family income and climate) factors were examined. One-half of youth had experienced a postsecondary vocational/educational disruption; parents of those with a disruption had more depressive and anxiety symptoms and lower quality of life while their son/daughter was still in high school.


Autism spectrum disorder Transition to adulthood Employment Postsecondary education Parental depression Parental anxiety 



This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (K01 MH092598), with core support from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U54 HD083211; U54 HD090256) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (CTSA UL1 TR000445). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

JLT conceived of the study, participated in the design and interpretation of the data, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. LSD participated in the conceptualization and design of the study, contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Waisman CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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