WUSTL Study Chosen as One of Top Ten Autism Research Advances of 2012

Released: 12/19/2012 4:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Washington University in St. Louis
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Newswise — A groundbreaking study on young adults with autism, led by Washington University in St. Louis researcher Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School, has been chosen as one of the “Top Ten Autism Research Advances of 2012” by the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.

The study, titled “Postsecondary Education and Employment Among Youth With an Autism Spectrum Disorder” was published in June in the journal Pediatrics and tracked adults with autism over their first six years post-high school.

The winning research studies were chosen by Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Committee, a team of 16 scientists and researchers. According to the online research database PubMed.gov, more than 2,700 autism studies were conducted in 2012. Instead of isolated breakthroughs, many of this year’s top advances represent broad progress in areas of autism science and involve multiple research teams at sites across the nation and the world, the group states in announcing the list.

Shattuck says very little is known about how life unfolds and what life looks like for adults with autism. “This study is really breaking new ground in terms of telling the story of what life looks like as people enter adulthood,” he says. “We chose to focus purposefully on young adulthood in the first few years after high school because that really is the beginning of adulthood. That sets the stage.

“If young people have a good launch during those first few years after high school, it sets them on a path that can spell success for many years to come. If they have a troubled launch on the years after high school, that can spell a troubled path,” he says.

A video of Shattuck discussing the study is below. To read more, visit news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23863.aspx.

To view the complete list of Autism Speak’s top ten research advances, visit autismspeaks.org.


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