Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have the poorest post-high school, or postsecondary, outcomes in comparison to their peers with and without disabilities. They experience low levels of engagement or even lack of engagement in employment, education, independent living, and community activities. As a result, these outcomes place a heavier load on families, professionals, and communities that support the ASD population throughout their lifespan. Therefore, the cost of taking care of this population is rising, with a current estimate of over $40 billion per year. In disability literature, self-determination (i.e., autonomy and empowerment) has been identified as a predictor of positive postsecondary outcomes; however, there is limited research on ASD, including some findings that youth with ASD often report low levels of self-determination. This review of the literature will accomplish the following: (1) synthesize research on postsecondary outcomes of youth with ASD; (2) identify existing gaps; (3) define self-determination and the social-ecological model; (4) apply the model to support needs of the ASD population while they are still in school; and (5) discuss directions for future research and practice.
Regan, Tara E.
"Start with Self-Determination: Advancing Postsecondary Outcomes of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder,"
The William & Mary Educational Review: Vol. 6
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wm.edu/wmer/vol6/iss1/4