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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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1 The transition to adulthood

The transition from childhood to legal adulthood at the age of 18 has been described as ‘falling off a cliff’ because there is generally very little provision for autistic adults. As for any young person, the moment of leaving school marks the loss of a familiar social network. But whereas most neurotypical 18-year-olds can look forward to making new friends at college or work, those with autism may find themselves isolated again, augmenting the risk of depression and other mental health problems.

In this section we discuss some key considerations within the transition to adulthood.