General health status of youth with autism with and without intellectual disabilities transitioning from special education, and its relationship to personal and family circumstances: longitudinal cohort study

Rydzewska, E. , Fleming, M. , Mackay, D. , Young-Southward, G., Blancher, J., Bolourian, Y. R., Widaman, K. and Cooper, S.-A. (2021) General health status of youth with autism with and without intellectual disabilities transitioning from special education, and its relationship to personal and family circumstances: longitudinal cohort study. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, (doi: 10.1080/20473869.2021.1966600) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Objective: Transition from school to early adulthood incurs many changes and may be associated with deterioration in general health in youth with autism. We aimed to investigate this. Method: The National Longitudinal Transitions Study-2 is a USA nationally representative sample of youth receiving special education services, aged 13–17 at wave 1, followed-up over 10 years in five data collection waves. We conducted random-effects ordered logistic regressions to determine the odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals of wave, age, sex, ethnicity/race, additional intellectual disabilities, parental/guardian relationship status, and household income being associated with general health status in youth with autism. Results: Across waves, only between 74.3%–69.6% had excellent/very good health (71.7%–58.8% in those with co-occurring intellectual disabilities), but wave was not associated with health status. Associations were with age OR = 1.18 (1.04, 1.33), co-occurring intellectual disabilities OR = 1.56 (1.00, 2.44), and household income OR = 0.61 (0.40, 0.94) at $30,001–$50,000, OR = 0.44 (0.27, 0.72) at $50,001–$70,000, and OR = 0.34 (0.20, 0.56) at $70,001+. Sex, ethnicity/race, and parental/guardian relationship status were not associated with health status. Conclusion: There was little change in general health status longitudinally across the transitional period, but the proportion with excellent/very good health was low at each wave. Transitional planning should consider co-occurring intellectual disabilities, and the wider socioeconomic context in which children/youth with autism are raised. Lack of other longitudinal studies indicates a need for replication.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded through a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith fellowship at the University of Glasgow.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Young-Southward, Ms Genevieve and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Fleming, Dr Michael and Rydzewska, Dr Ewelina
Authors: Rydzewska, E., Fleming, M., Mackay, D., Young-Southward, G., Blancher, J., Bolourian, Y. R., Widaman, K., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2047-3869
ISSN (Online):2047-3869
Published Online:30 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Developmental Disabilities 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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