New study examines social isolation of young adults with autism spectrum disorder

Young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to never see friends, never get called by friends, never be invited to activities and be socially isolated. That’s the finding of new research released online in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that studies the social outcomes of young adults with an ASD. The study is part of a pioneering program of research on adolescents and adults with autism led by Paul T. Shattuck, PhD, associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Lead author is Gael I. Orsmond, PhD, associate professor at Boston University and an expert on the social development of adults with an ASD.

WUSTL study on young adults with autism in the workplace continues to get recognition

With awareness ever increasing about young adults with autism transitioning into the workforce, a 2012 study by Washington University in St. Louis researcher Paul Shattuck continues to get national recognition. Shattuck’s June 2012 study “Postsecondary Education and Employment Among Youth With an Autism Spectrum Disorder” was one of 20 selected for inclusion in the 2012 IACC Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.

Youth with autism gravitate toward STEM majors in college — if they get there

More students with an autism spectrum disorder gravitate toward science, technology, engineering and math majors in college than other students. But they have low college admission rates because of gender, finances and other barriers, finds a new study, co-authored by Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder at risk for bullying

A new study suggests an estimated 46.3 percent of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were the victims of bullying. The study originated at the Brown School and is part of a pioneering program of research on adolescents and adults with autism led by Paul T. Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor. Lead author Paul Sterzing, PhD, assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare of the University of California, Berkeley, completed this study when he was a student at the Brown School.

Cost of caring for a child with special needs varies from state to state

Therapies, rehabilitation and specialty medical care are just a few of the extra costs parents face when raising children with special needs. In a new study published in Pediatrics, Paul T. Shattuck, Ph.D., professor of social work, found that families with similar demographics and nature of their children’s special needs have different out-of-pocket health expenditures depending on the state in which they live.

Cost of raising a child with special needs: Where does your state rank?

In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, Paul T. Shattuck, Ph.D., professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, found that families with similar demographics and nature of their children’s special needs have different out-of-pocket health expenditures depending on the state in which they live. “This is one of the few studies that focuses on families’ costs when caring for children with special needs, rather than the overall cost for society as a whole,” he says. Shattuck notes that wealthier states tend to have a lower average extra cost for caring for a child with special needs. “At the low end, families in Massachusetts paid an average of $560 for out-of-pocket medical expenses,” he says. “At the high end, families in Georgia shouldered an average of $970 in additional care expenses.” Editor’s note: Video and a complete rankings table are available.

Study shows autism symptoms can improve into adulthood

Hallmarks of autism are characteristic behaviors — repetitive motions, problems interacting with others, impaired communication abilities — that occur in widely different combinations and degrees of severity among those who have the condition. But how those behaviors change as individuals progress through adolescence and adulthood has, until now, never been fully scientifically documented. In a new study, published in the September Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers have found that symptoms can improve with age. “On average, people are getting better,” says Paul T. Shattuck, assistant professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “It is a hopeful finding, but the fact remains that those with severe autism will depend on others for their everyday needs and care for the rest of their lives.”