Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

Get to work: Vanderbilt study shows employment can reduce autism symptoms

See also

Could clocking in reduce symptoms of adult patients with autism, ultimately improving their overall quality of life?

Vanderbilt University issued a release that says yes. The press release highlights a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that shows more independent work environments may lead to reductions in autism symptoms and improve daily living in adults with the disorder.

The study, conducted by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examined 153 adults with autism and found that greater vocational independence and engagement led to improvements in core features of autism, other problem behaviors and the ability to take care of oneself.

“We found that if you put the person with autism in a more independent vocational placement, this led to measurable improvements in their behaviors and daily living skills overall,” said lead author Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and Special Education and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator.

Participants averaged 30 years of age and were part of a larger longitudinal study on adolescents and adults with autism. Data were collected at two time points separated by 5.5 years.

Typical autism symptoms include:

  • Restricted interests
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Communication impairments
  • Difficulties with social interactions

Ironically, underemployment is reportedly common among autistic adults with autism, with some 50 percent spending their days with little community contact. Researchers say this shows the importance of employment programs for adults with autism and emphasizes a need for more formal programs and services with this group of the autistic population.

For more information on autism and resources available to those living with autism, check out Autism Speaks, which was one of the funders of the Vanderbilt study. If you live in North Alabama and have questions about autism, visit the Autism Resource Foundation's website.



  • Name my baby
    Canadian couple allows the Internet to name their baby. See the result
    Name My Baby
  • Prescription drugs
    Americans consume an astonishing 50 percent of the world's prescription drugs
    Prescription Drugs
  • Weight loss
    Health and fitness: How to lose weight and burn extra body fat fast
    Weight Loss
  • Twitter fail
    Twitter fail: NYPD's social media outreach campaign backfires
    Twitter Fail
  • Freelancers
    Tricks of the trade: A new study suggests how freelancers can land more jobs
    Job Tips
  • Bad dog
    Sneaky dog vandalizes car tires for over six months before being caught
    Bad Dog

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!