Quality of life, independence, and employment outcomes are poor for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (YA-ASD). This study explored the desires and experiences of YA-ASD as they transition into adulthood.
Fifteen YA-ASD, age 18 to 25 years, were recruited from autism spectrum disorder centers, participant registries, and social media advertising. Interested individuals completed a survey and individual interview. Semistructured interview guides included questions about transition experiences, current independence, and future goals. Interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis.
The desire of young adults with autism spectrum disorder for independence was shown within 4 themes. YA-ASD described their vision of adulthood along with their need for improved skills in driving, living independently, and decision-making.
The findings indicate YA-ASD desire to be independent but lack the specific support services to get there.