Vol. 58, No. 1, 2012
Issue release date: December 2011
Free Access
Gerontology 2012;58:70–78
(DOI:10.1159/000329720)
Behavioural Science Section / Mini-Review
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Aging in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Mini-Review

Happé F.a · Charlton R.A.b, c
aMRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and bClinical Neuroscience, St George’s, University of London, London, UK; cDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA
email Corresponding Author


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Autism
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Adults
  • Aging
  • Old age

 goto top of outline Abstract

This article addresses an important and barely researched topic: what happens to children with autism spectrum disorders when they grow old. We review the small published literature on aging in autism. We then consider the relevance of research on ‘neurotypical’ aging in core domains of autistic impairment: social cognition, executive function, cognitive style and memory. Research themes from the study of normal aging, including cognitive reserve, compensation, quality of life, loneliness and physical health are of relevance for future research on autism. Studies of aging in autism will be important not only to plan appropriate services, but also to shed light on the full developmental trajectory of this neurodevelopmental condition, and perhaps provide clues to neuropathology and etiology.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel


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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Francesca Happé
MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
Institute of Psychiatry (PO 80), King’s College London
De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF (UK)
Tel. +44 207 848 0873, E-Mail francesca.happe@kcl.ac.uk


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: October 29, 2010
Accepted: May 25, 2011
Published online: August 24, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 89


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 58, No. 1, Year 2012 (Cover Date: December 2011)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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