Financial Capabilities Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience significant difficulties assuming adult responsibilities and achieving independence. Little is known about their desire or ability to manage their own finances. This study explored the financial circumstances, money management skills, and desires for financial independence among 27 youth with ASD. Youth took part in 30–60 min semi-structured interviews about independence. Strategies of theme analysis identified three critical themes about finances and emerging adulthood for youth with ASD. Youth (1) defined independence by being able to manage their finances, (2) worried about their lack of money management skills, and (3) cited poor financial skills as barrier to independence. Results suggest youth with ASD understand the importance of financial capability and strive for financial independence, but lack the skills and support needed to achieve their financial goals. This study provides preliminary information for clinicians, educators, and researchers to develop financial capability modules for youth with ASD.