Advancement of knowledge about families who have a member with an intellectual and developmental disabilities

Adolescents and Adults with Autism

Prior to 2000, there was virtually no systematic research about families of adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), about the transition from adolescence to adulthood, about the experiences of individuals with an ASD, or the impact on the family. These are the questions that motivated our research.

In 2000, with funding from the National Institute on Aging, we began our longitudinal study of over 400 families of people with an autism spectrum disorder who live in Wisconsin or Massachusetts. This research extended for 14 years, and has resulted in over 70 research publications focused on the life course of both the family members and the individual with ASD.  We use epidemiological methods, biomarkers, and genetics, as well as social and psychological approaches.  To date this study is the largest longitudinal study of ASD in adulthood and has led to the development of intervention studies focused on families and adolescents (Transitioning Together) and adults (Working Together) with ASD.

Young man with autism

Journal Articles