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  • This article from Disability Scoop detailed a study that found that young adults with autism are more likely than those with other disabilities to live with their parents and less likely to live independently. According to the study, only about 17% of young adults (age 21-25) on the autism spectrum have ever lived independently. By comparison, nearly 34% of their peers with intellectual disability have lived independently. This prompted us to look at what NCI data show about the living situations of those with and without autism of all ages.


    For the purposes of this blog, we looked at the 2011-2012 administration of the Adult Consumer Survey. The Adult Consumer Survey is a face-to-face interview with adults with ID/DD receiving state-funded services.  The total sample was comprised of adults from 19 states and 1 sub-state entity. Information regarding health care and residence is collected in the background information section of the Adult Consumer Survey. While the study cited above reports on whether an individual has ever lived independently, NCI asks about where the respondent lives currently. In addition, the Adult Consumer Survey samples individuals aged 18 and above, while the study cited surveyed individuals aged 21-25.


    Of the total sample (n=11,529) 12% of respondents were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Of those with an ASD, 41% lived in a parent or relative’s home. The following table demonstrates where respondents with ASD lived:



    Residence type


    Community-Based Residence

    Independent Home/Apt

    Parent/Relative’s Home

    Foster Care/Host Home


    Individuals without ASD







    Individuals with ASD








    NCI data show that respondents with ASD are living with parents/relatives at a higher rate than individuals without ASD (41% vs. 33%), and are living in independent homes at a lower rate than individuals without ASD (9% vs. 13%). NCI respondents with ASD are less likely to be living in institutional settings than those without ASD (4% vs. 9%).


    Examining the living situations of individuals with ID/DD can be useful for policy and program design. For example, previous studies have found that the receipt of preventive health care by individuals with ID/DD varies significantly by place of residence. These findings can lead to programs that encourage health care utilization and target those who live in differing settings.  NCI states have also used data by place of residence to look at psychotropic drug use, employment and loneliness. How has your state used data by place of residence?