Opportunities for young adults with autism are limited and the problem needs to be urgently addressed in the next decade as half a million autistic children reach adulthood, researchers say.
A study published Monday in Pediatrics finds that 35 percent of autistic young adults have no paid job experience, college or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation.
Those figures compare with 26 percent of mentally disabled young adults, 7 percent of young adults with speech and language problems, and 3 percent of those with learning disabilities.
Those with autism may fare worse because many also have each of the other disabilities studied.
The study, based on data from 2007-08, was done before unemployment peaked from the recession.
The situation today is tough even for young adults who don't have such limitations.