Projects

Skipnavigation

Projects Current Page Projects

Content:

Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adolescence: Transitions, Challenges, Need for Action

Background and aims

The number of research projects on the issue of autism spectrum disorders (ASS) increased significantly over the past few years. The focus of these projects is mostly on the situation of children and adolescents with ASS at preschool age and school age. Referring to the special needs and necessities there are only few research results available on the work with adolescents and adults with ASS, and their focus is usually medical. However, in particular adolescence represents a phase with special challenges. Possible transitions in the areas of education and care as well as the desired creation of an increasingly self-determined life can turn this phase of life into an interference-prone time for the individual with ASS, as well as for their environment. Specific support options thus receive a special relevance in this case. Against the background of the before-mentioned facts, the research project of the HfH approaches adolescence of adolescents and young adults with ASS from a systemic special-needs-education perspective. It focuses on the life and training/educational situations of people with autism spectrum disorders at the age of 15 to 24 in German-speaking Switzerland.

Questions

The following questions will take the lead in the research project:

What is the current life situation of adolescents and young adults with ASS in German-speaking Switzerland (living arrangements, training/educational or work situation)?

Which types of specific support does the current system of help provide for adolescents, young adults and their family members in German-speaking Switzerland?

Which support options are considered helpful

  • from the perspective of people with ASS?
  • from the perspective of the parents?
  • from the perspective of experts?

What need for action and other needs are mentioned

  • from the perspective of people with ASS?
  • from the perspective of the parents?
  • from the perspective of experts?

Methods

Methodically the first step is a document analysis on the actual situation of institutional activities regarding care and support for adolescents and young adults with ASS and their family members. This analysis is accompanied by a survey on the current life situation of the target group. The second step includes qualitative interviews, run with adolescents and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder and concerned parents, as well as experts, who deal with people with ASS in adolescence within the framework of school, professional integration, living and counselling.

Results

The findings from the qualitative survey of mothers and fathers of adolescents and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder in German-speaking Switzerland permit the clear formulation of the challenges and need for action in the areas of preparation for employment and labour market integration, housing and independent living, and leisure and social contacts. The findings offer insights from the parental perspective into relevant themes and facets of life with and for adolescents and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Very concrete input towards developing current services and concepts can be derived from the analysis of parents’ experience to date and the resulting definition of a current agenda for action.

Facts

Duration
08/2012-07/2014
No.
4_18

Project Management

Prof. Dr.   Eckert

Professor

Kontakt

Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at]hfh.ch zfe