Health Systems and Services


There is little evidence that we have moved the needle on life course outcomes for autistic youth and adults. Our goal is to develop clear metrics and foster connections among researchers and policymakers to improve care coordination and service delivery that truly moves the needle on population-level life course outcomes.


Autistic individuals and their families characterize their experiences as a “lifetime of difficult transitions” due to a limited number of service providers and resources. Population outcomes among young adults on the autism spectrum are poor across indicators of physical health, mental health, employment, postsecondary education, community participation, independence, financial security and access to needed community services. Systems-level strategies for improving policy and program performance are needed among care coordination and service models. Specific research priorities include supporting health care navigation and models of transition practices, training primary care providers in the adult health system, and educating individuals and families about transition care.

Health systems and services node leader

Paul Shattuck, PhD

Senior Fellow at Mathematica

Health systems and services node leader

Lindsay Shea, DRPH, MS

Director of the Policy and Analytics Center at A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under award UT2MC39440, the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health. The information, content, and/or conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the US Government.