Autism presents families with many challenges. It may strain the emotional, physical and financial quality of life of a family. Yet, family well-being has a direct impact on the ability of a family to advocate for and meet the needs of their son or daughter with autism. Intuitively, it would seem that children in families who are well-supported may have better educational and employment outcomes. However, before policies can be changed, policy makers need to know if definitive connections among specific supports, parental involvement and educational or employment outcomes for children and youth with autism exist. This is the goal of our research, which is divided into two independent but related studies.
In this study we are examining the various approaches being taken in all 50 states to provide care in the community to children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, we are examining state approaches to supports and services designed specifically for transition age youth (ages 18-21).
In Study 2 we are conducting in-depth interviews with a sample of Maryland participants from the previous Maryland Autism Services Surveys, administered in 2008 and 2011, to gather a more specific understanding of the implications of their responses to the surveys. We are revising and administering the Maryland Autism Services Survey again. It will be a more targeted and in-depth probe that identifies specific services and their impact.