By Francesca Happé
As the world’s leading autism researchers and advocates gathered at the International Meeting for Autism Research last weekend to share the latest discoveries about autism spectrum disorder, a strong theme emerged: Autism is growing up.
When you think of autism, you probably think of young children. But children with autism grow up to be adults with autism, and eventually (God willing) elderly people with autism.
n fact, most people with autism are adults, and most adults with autism lack services — or even a diagnosis.
In her conference keynote address, Marsha Mailick, director of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared data gleaned from 10 years of following the lives of more than 400 people with autism, starting in 1998. This study was prescient; adults are vastly underrepresented in autism research, and longitudinal studies into old age are badly needed.