This article from Spectrum | Autism Research News discusses how intelligence and behavior shape adulthood for individuals with autism. The study highlighted in the article followed 123 people with autism from childhood to adulthood to assess various factors that predict adult functioning. The study found that two childhood factors, IQ and behavioral problems, are important predictors of adult outcomes for individuals with autism.
The study identified different groups of individuals based on their adult outcomes. The most successful group lived independently, had jobs, and maintained friendships. On the other hand, the least successful group did not achieve independence, employment, or friendships. The middle groups achieved some but not all of these factors to a limited extent.
The study also found that high quality of life was associated with high IQs and few behavioral problems in autistic individuals. Those with low IQs and severe behavioral problems struggled the most. Individuals with either low IQ or significant behavioral problems, but not both, fell between the extremes.
The study highlighted the impact of mental health problems on independence, even for individuals with high IQs. However, the study also showed that individuals with lower cognitive ability and adequate mental health can still achieve better outcomes than expected.
The article emphasizes the need for tailored support and education for autistic children, with a focus on adaptive skills related to daily activities and independence. Caregivers and teachers should identify a child’s comfortable domains and build on them. Using technology can also be helpful for individuals with uneven cognitive and language profiles.
It is important to determine what people with autism want, as normative ideas may not be appropriate. Research shows that individuals with autism have similar desires to neurotypical individuals, including relationships and meaningful work.
The article concludes by stating that larger studies with more diverse representation are needed to confirm these findings in other populations. Overall, the study highlights the importance of understanding the impact of intelligence and behavior on adult outcomes for individuals with autism and the need for appropriate support and education.
The original article can be found here.
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