Characteristics of adults with autism spectrum disorder who use residential services and supports through adult developmental disability services in the United States

Amy S. Hewitt, Roger J. Stancliffe, Jennifer Hall-Lande, Derek Nord, Sandra L. Pettingell, Kristin Hamre, Libby J Hallas-Muchow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Many children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) need services and support across their lifespans. Currently many residential and community living supports are delivered through state intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) service systems. Method A random sample of 11,947 individual users of adult IDD services from 25 states that included 1,459 individuals with an autism diagnosis was analyzed for this study looking at demographic characteristics and living arrangements. Comparisons were made between adults with and without ASD who receive services through the IDD service system. Results Overall, individuals with an ASD diagnosis were younger on average, had a higher percentage of males, and had higher percentages of the No Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and Severe ID categories compared to individuals without an ASD diagnosis. There was a significant association between the type of living arrangement and ASD status with a higher percentage of participants with ASD living in a family member's home, but a lower percentage of people with ASD living in agency apartments, in their own home or an “other” living arrangement. However, with age, gender, and level of ID and challenging behavior taken into account, people with ASD had 29% higher odds of living in a family member's home but 42% lower odds of living in their own home when compared to people with other developmental disabilities who received residential services through state IDD service systems. Conclusions There are key differences in access and utilization of residential services between people with ASD and people without ASD. While state developmental disabilities systems are serving individuals with ASD there are potential influences of state policies regarding ASD eligibility for various residential services. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication is supported by Cooperative Agreement #90RT5019-01-01 from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • ASD
  • Autism
  • Community living
  • ID
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • National Core Indicators
  • Residential services

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