Transition To Adulthood

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Adaptive behavior is the independent performance of daily activities that are required for personal and social self-sufficiency. Deficits in adaptive behavior are, by definition, criteria for Intellectual Disability. Yet in ASD, adaptive skills tend to fall below age and cognitive expectations, especially for autistic individuals with intact cognition and language. This gap between cognition and adaptive behavior appears to widen with age and impedes functional independence into adulthood. This presentation will outline profiles of adaptive behavior in ASD and discuss the importance of assessing for and fostering adaptive skills from initial diagnosis throughout the lifespan.  

Celine A. Saulnier, Ph.D. 
Clinical Psychologist 
Neurodevelopmental Assessment & Consulting Services Adjunct Associate Professor 
Emory University School of Medicine 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Define adaptive behavior & differentiate adaptive behavior from cognition or ability 
  2. Describe common profiles of adaptive functioning in ASD 
  3. Identify effective treatment strategies for enhancing adaptive functioning