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National Autism Indicators Reports

To make a difference, research must reach those who need it. The National Autism Indicators Report series presents our research findings in a clearly communicated, open-access, online format to speed the delivery of information to decision-makers while maintaining very high standards of scientific credibility. These Reports and Publications are produced in collaboration with the Policy and Analytics Center, where funding for research initiatives and data are based.

We have moved all reports over to:

NAIR 2022 cover lg

National Autism Indicators Report: The Intersection of Autism, Health, Poverty and Racial Inequity

This report examines the following two questions: 1) do income-based differences in health and health care outcomes look the same for children with and without autism? and 2) do income-based differences in health and health care outcomes look the same for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)  children with autism and white children with autism? Examining the health and healthcare outcomes of children with autism in combination with other social characteristics offers several advantages. First, we can illuminate how demographics alone, and in combination with other social characteristics of children, are associated with differences in the rates of health and healthcare outcomes they experience. Second, it increases our understanding of the health-related experiences of social groups who are often neglected in research. Third, it provides current and comprehensive evidence on how children with autism experience relative disadvantages related to social determinants of health, which are aspects of the environment that affect health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
NAIR mental health

National Autism Indicators Report: Mental Health

The purpose of this report is to catalogue indicators of mental health and mental health care to highlight areas of needed improvement in practice and policy. Mental health care is an urgent priority and this report documents barriers that individuals and families face when trying to access mental health care. Good health and wellbeing require effective interventions and supportive policy to ensure that mental health needs of autistic children and adults are effectively addressed.
NAIR Family

National Autism Indicators Report: Family Perspectives on Services and Supports

The families of youth and adults on the autism spectrum provide vital supports across the lifespan. This report explores what family members report about autistic adults: the settings they live in, their access to services, opportunities to participate in their communities, and the choices they have about their services and supports. We also look at the characteristics of family members themselves, how they participate in decision-making and choices about services and providers, and the types of supports they may need themselves to identify and coordinate quality care and to best meet the needs of the autistic adult.

NAIR Health Nov 2020

National Autism Indicators Report: Health and Health Care

Health and health care are critical issues for many children and adults on the autism spectrum. They may experience more frequent use of services and medications. They may need more types of routine and specialty healthcare. And their overall health and mental health care tends to be more complex than people with other types of disabilities and special health care needs. This report provides indicators of health and health care for autistic persons across the lifespan. Topics covered include overall health, health services, medication, insurance, and accessing services. We need to understand health and healthcare needs across the life course to support recommendations on how to improve health and health care at critical points across a person’s life. The purpose of this report is to catalogue indicators to aid in decision making to this end.

NAIR 2020

National Autism Indicators Report: Children on the autism spectrum and family financial hardship

Families of children with ASD face significant financial challenges due to their child’s complex service needs and frequent out-of-pocket expenditures for community services and health care. This report describes financial hardship among families of children with ASD (ages 3-17 years) and their participation in safety net programs.

2018 NAIR cover

National Autism Indicators Report: High School Students on the Autism Spectrum

Characteristics of teens on the autism spectrum have been changing over the past decade, driving the need for updated statistics to provide a current picture of the population. This report presents updated statistics on indicators of demographics, disability, education, and health. For many of the indicators, we highlight the experiences of low income and minority youth, examining differences in functioning, health, and experiences by household income and race/ethnicity.

2017 National Autism Indicators Report Cover

National Autism Indicators Report: Developmental Disability Services and Outcomes in Adulthood

Many adults with autism have a difficult time achieving employment, continued education, and independent living. This report explores the experiences of adults with ASD who used services funded through state Developmental Disability (DD) agencies in 2014-15. We learn more about their characteristics, the quality of their lives, the opportunities they have to participate in their communities, their ability to exercise choice in their lives, and their access to needed services.

2016 NAIR Vocational Rehabilitation

National Autism Indicators Report: Vocational Rehabilitation

Employment is about more than simply earning a paycheck - it influences quality of life, independence, and wellness. Historically, employment outcomes for adults with autism are poor. The U.S. Vocational Rehabilitation system (VR) is designed to provide support to states for implementation of services to assist people with disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep employment. VR data allow us to examine some outcomes for those with autism compared to their peers.

National Autism Indicators Report

National Autism Indicators Report: Transition into Young Adulthood

Young adults with autism have a difficult time following high school for almost any outcome you choose - working, continuing school, living independently, socializing and participating in the community, and staying healthy and safe. To complicate matters, many of these youth begin their journey into adulthood by stepping off a services cliff. Access to needed supports and services drops off dramatically after high school - with too many having no help at all.