Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals across their lifetime, though the effects of ageing in older adulthood are poorly understood to date. This systematic review assessed six characteristics in older autistic adults (cognitive functioning, co-occurring difficulties, autism symptom severity, social integration, adaptive functioning, language processing). A total of 41 studies met inclusion criteria, 16 of which included autistic adults with intellectual disability, and three were longitudinal in nature. Findings show differing effects of ageing across the six domains. Factors contributing to discrepancies such as age and IQ differences, methodology and healthy survivor effect are discussed. The need for more longitudinal studies to investigate changes across developmental stages alongside other limitations, future directions and clinical implications are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Publication Date





184 - 207