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QUALITY OF LIFE Foundation for Autism Support and Training

An Alternative View of Quality of Life Outcomes for People with Autism

Below, a parent of a teenager with autism gives a very detailed description in simple, every day terms of quality of life factors that contribute to a very good life for people on the autism spectrum.

An Alternative View on Outcome in Autism – Written by Lisa Ruble and Nancy Dalrymple, Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities, Spring, 1996. Vol 11, Issue 1. For full article, go to:

A person with autism should participate in activities with family members or close friends (e.g., travel, eat out, shop, favorite games or activities, church, dinners). Included in family/close friends’ events and passages (e.g., holiday gatherings, weddings, funerals, births, birthday celebrations, illnesses and accidents). Contact with family members and friends as frequently as desired (e.g., make and receive phone calls, write and receive letters, send and receive cards, visits, invitations.)

A person with autism should be active and comfortable in familiar community:

  • Ride transportation, walk, ride with family or friend, ride bike;
  • Shop for groceries, clothes, gifts, cards, crafts, needed equipment, personal
  • Choose movies, videos, places to eat out, ordering in;
  • Go to special events: sports, circus, shows, movies concerts;
  • Participate in the YMCA, bike club, or other interest or philanthropic clubs.

A person with autism should work at a valued job to earn money:

  • Like job and feel good about doing it;
  • Supported by people on the job;
  • Can do job competently; know performance is good.

A person with autism should enjoy good health and wellness through proper nutrition, awareness of weight management, and access to appropriate medications when and if needed.

A person with autism should have own special possessions and personal space to keep as desired and has time and space to be alone when desired.

A person with autism should makes choices about purchases and manages own money to the greatest extent possible.

A person with autism should receive enough information to make valid choices and not have to refuse them because of lack or information, lack of experience, or lack of support.

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