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Title: Outcomes in older adults with ASD : cross-sectional comparison between individuals over 50 years of age with and without ASD on cognitive measures
Author: Tse, Venus
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 860X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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To date, research concerning older adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been very scarce. For that reason, this thesis aimed to examine characteristics of older adults with ASD. The literature review (Part one) systematically reviewed studies regarding outcome of ASD in late adulthood in 6 areas: cognitive functioning, adaptive functioning, language, social functioning, comorbid difficulties and autism symptom severity. Ten empirical studies were identified and their findings were evaluated. As all the included studies were cross-sectional, longitudinal research is required to examine the age-related changes in individuals with ASD in all outcome areas. The empirical paper (Part two) describes a quantitative study that compared cognitive and memory abilities between older adults with and without ASD over the age of 50. Impaired performance in processing speed and working memory was evident in older adults with ASD in the present study. However, according to the ageing literature, these deficits are also often found in neurotypical adults as they age. Therefore, longitudinal studies are warranted to explore how the combination of aging and ASD affect cognitive functioning. The critical appraisal (Part three) comprises a discussion of issues and challenges arose during the process of conducting the literature review and empirical study. It considers how previous experiences influenced personal assumptions of the research project, how these assumptions have changed over the course of research, challenges arose during data collection and concludes with some personal reflections.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available