Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 9, pp 2925–2937 | Cite as

Parent Expectations and Preparatory Activities as Adolescents with ASD Transition to Adulthood

  • Laura G. HolmesEmail author
  • Anne V. Kirby
  • Donald S. Strassberg
  • Michael B. Himle
Original Paper


Community stakeholders, researchers, and providers are increasingly focused on individual, family, and systemic factors that contribute to positive outcomes for adults on the autism spectrum. Parent expectations for their youth’s future are associated with adult outcomes (e.g., employment, school success, independence), yet the mechanism for this effect remains unclear. This study investigated how expectations were related to parent transition-related activities in a sample of 298 parents of adolescents on the autism spectrum (48% female adolescents), stratified by parent-reported IQ (average or above, borderline, or below 70). Parent expectations for the future predicted engagement in some activities intended to enhance adult outcomes when controlling for IQ, gender, age, and household income. The results have implications for how providers discuss expectations and support families in preparing for adulthood.


Transition Adulthood Vocation Parents Gender 



Anne V. Kirby’s research efforts were supported by the University of Utah Program in Personalized Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number KL2TR001065. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

LGH conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, recruited participants, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. AVK conceived of the study, performed and interpreted statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. MBH and DSS participated in study design and coordination, recruitment of participants, and helped to draft the manuscript.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura G. Holmes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anne V. Kirby
    • 3
  • Donald S. Strassberg
    • 1
  • Michael B. Himle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Center for Autism ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Occupational and Recreational TherapiesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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