Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Michelle Suarez

Second Advisor

Ben Atchison


This honors thesis explores the current research on autism and the transition from secondary education into adulthood. While much research is done on autism and childhood, the research for autism into adulthood is lacking. Since transitioning from high school to adulthood is challenging for anyone, it is especially important to research this change in regards to autism spectrum disorder. To find the best data, several articles were analyzed and summarized from many databases. Specific articles for each time were found for each of the categories. Some of the databases utilized include PubMed, ProQuest, and SCOPUS. The three main categories of focus include college, employment and vocation, and home living. Specific issues relating to these categories included school sizes, driving and transportation, and jobs and financial support. After looking into the various options, it was concluded that a combination of life skills classes and vocational training was the most beneficial for young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Another finding was that attending community college prior to a four year university was common among young adults with autism and yielded better outcomes. The information found from this thesis were also used to create a pamphlet to act as a guide to help teachers, children, parents, and other professionals through this transition and to give a brief explanation of different options. This research acts as an introductory guide to some of the options these young adults have and may lead to future research. Limitations include lack of in-depth and specific research for each of the options presented. Future research would focus on the hybrid model combining classroom work and vocational work. For this research, participant participation may be used. Future research may also focus on area specific options, such as for the Kalamazoo area.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted