Longitudinal Study of Australian School Leavers with Autism (SASLA)

Published August 2022

Historically, the adult years have been ignored in autism research, despite that these years representing the greatest proportion of individuals’ lives. Hence, limited information and guidance exists for autistic adults, their families and those who may provide support (e.g., health services, employment services, higher education) about trajectories from late adolescence through old age.

The aim of the SASLA project was to provide a comprehensive profile of autistic young people (aged 15-25 years at entry) in Australia as compared with a similar aged cohort of non-autistic young people, over a period of 2-years. An additional aim by the SASLA team was to examine the role and experiences of parents/carers of transition-aged autistic young people over this time period.

Participants from all groups were surveyed three times over two years. The study has yielded many important insights into the experiences of autism in young autistic people, covering a range of areas including physical and mental health, health services, education, employment, the wellbeing of carers, and the impact of COVID-19.

We would like to thank the many participants who gave significant time in completing the surveys for this study.

Longitudinal data from this study will be made available for approved future research purposes through the Australian Autism Biobank in late 2022.