Review of literature with autistic over-50s between 2010 and 2019, as we know little about impact of aging among autistic people
Find high rates of co-occurring conditions, often complex. Compounded by low employment, healthcare access issues, and relationship issues
Two groups of literature - 1) experiences of autistic elders 2) research reqs to include this group better
Aut adults 55+ in Scotland were 2x as likely to say they had 'bad' or 'very bad' physical health as non-aut adults
Work on specific health conditions is mixed as to more/less likely to have them. Seem no more likely to have 'old age' conditions e.g. hypertension
One where this does differ is Parkinsons, where aut adults may be more likely to develop than non-aut adults
I would like more detail here on some of the studies - I know it is a review, but telling us whether the analysis controlled for other things would help
The longest section in the paper. That's kind of nice, because it means people are taking it seriously, but it shows up how little there is on everything else.
Overall, higher lifetime occurrences of MH issues in autistic adults is the take-away
As w/younger groups, depression/anxiety most common, plus psychotic disorders (which are less seen in younger people generally)
Mixed as to whether rates increase over adulthood or not.
Satisfaction may vary with level of support need - those with high independence generally said they were 'fairly/very satisfied' with their social lives
Aut adults who use social media are most likely to have close friends (Hi, Twitter!)
I think, from my work at least, there is a sense of finding 'your people' and sticking with them, rather than pressure to have 'typical' friendships
Again, no specific work on over-50s access to healthcare, and ZERO studies with participants over 64!
Some evidence aut adults generally make more trips to Emergency Depts in USA, while also known to face more challenges e.g. communicating with professionals
There are challenges: aut over-50s may not have a dx, plus the awful survivorship bias that means we can't work with ppl who don't reach this age