Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 556–568 | Cite as

Understanding Service Usage and Needs for Adults with ASD: The Importance of Living Situation

  • Katerina M. DudleyEmail author
  • Mark R. Klinger
  • Allison Meyer
  • Patrick Powell
  • Laura G. Klinger
Original Paper


With the increasing prevalence of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), research examining the service experiences of this population is greatly needed. The current study investigated service use, unmet needs, and obstacles to service access for a large sample of adults with ASD. After accounting for various demographic factors known to impact service usage and needs, living situation was a significant predictor of service use, needs, and obstacles to services. Adults with ASD living with family reported less service use, higher unmet need, and more obstacles to accessing services. With more than half of this adult sample living with family, results have clear public policy implications to support the increasing population of adults with ASD living with aging caregivers.


Autism spectrum disorder Service usage Service needs Service obstacles Living situation Middle adulthood 



This work was supported by Autism Speaks and Foundation of Hope. We would like to express our gratitude to the individuals and families who volunteered their time to contribute to this research. We would also like to thank Paul Shattuck for his consultation on this work.

Author Contributions

KMD contributed in conception or design of the work. PP, AM, MRK, and LGK contributed in data collection. KMD, MRK, LGK, and PP contributed in data analysis and interpretation. KMD contributed in drafting the article. KMD, LGK, and MRK contributed in critical revision of the article. KMD, LGK, MRK, PP, and AM contributed in final approval of the version to be published.


This study was funded by Autism Speaks (Grant #8316) and the Foundation of Hope.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Katerina M. Dudley, Mark R. Klinger, Allison Meyer, Patrick Powell and Laura G. Klinger declares that they has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katerina M. Dudley
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mark R. Klinger
    • 2
    • 3
  • Allison Meyer
    • 4
  • Patrick Powell
    • 5
  • Laura G. Klinger
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.TEACCH Autism Program, CB#7180University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Allied Health ServicesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, JFK Partners, School of MedicineUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CenterAuroraUSA
  5. 5.School of PsychologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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