Research

Autistic individuals face barriers to accessing high-quality, evidence-based health care. While receipt of sub-optimal healthcare is a concern across the lifespan for this population, it is particularly relevant for transition-aged youth and adults for whom the current healthcare system is especially under-prepared to provide care that is sensitive to this population’s needs. Our research team has two complimentary primary areas of study. First, we conduct research to inform the tailoring of healthcare delivery to meet the needs of autistic adults. Specifically, we evaluate healthcare delivery processes, patient experiences, access to care, utilization of services, costs of care, and outcomes of care. Second, we put our findings to work to improve healthcare for autistic adults by partnering with community stakeholders to implement solutions in real world settings and evaluating the effectiveness of solutions for broader scalability. Our research team strives to put our research into action to promote evidenced-based change in the healthcare system.

While a majority of our work is focused on improving healthcare for the population of autistic adults, the research methods we use, and insights gained from our studies can be applied broadly across multiple clinical populations. As such, members of our research team at times collaborate with external researchers/research teams on projects focused improving aspects of healthcare for other populations.

Our research team manual can be found here.

Media Coverage and Appearances

  • 2021 Medscape, “Gaps in healthcare system seen for adults with autism,” Daniel Gilmore quoted
  • 2021 Spectrum News, “Contentious study prompts backlash from autism researchers,” Dr. Brittany Hand quoted
  • 2021 PsychNews, “As number of adults with autism rise, need for better services apparent,” Dr. Brittany Hand quoted
  • 2021 Health and Rehabilitation Sciences News, “Specialized clinic helps adults with autism receive more preventative services,” Dr. Brittany Hand quoted
  • 2020 Autism Matters Podcast #29, “Mental and physical health in older autistic adults,” Dr. Brittany Hand interviewed
  • 2020 Verywell mind, “Avoiding ableist language in autism research,” Collaborative publication cited
  • 2020 Forbes magazine, “Words have power: How to get comfortable talking about disability,” Collaborative publication cited
  • 2020 Spectrum News, “Growing old with autism,” Team led publication cited
  • 2020 The Atlantic News, “How America neglects older adults on the autism spectrum,” Team led publication cited
  • 2019 Yahoo Lifestyle News, “New research shows connection between autism and mental [health conditions,” Team led publication cited