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Survey Of Adult Life Styles

CARD-USF lead a collaboration within the statewide CARD system to disseminate and analyze a "Survey of Lifestyles Being Experienced with Adults with Autism and Related Disabilities." Surveys were sent to nearly 400 individuals and 128 were completed by respondents which included families (80%), professionals (12%), and individuals with autism/related disabilities (8%). The survey has provided valuable information about the lifestyles that are currently being experienced by adults with autism and related disabilities and their families.

Many constituents and their families were satisfied with community-based leisure/recreational and social activities, but approximately 50% of respondents indicated they were dissatisfied with their educational and vocational situations. CARD also conducted 20 indepth interviews of adults and family members. Themes that emerged were:

  • Families and people with autism express a wide range of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the status of their lives.
  • Many adults with autism are not receiving the supports necessary to experience a quality of life similar to individuals without disabilities.











  • Adults with autism are provided little choice in life decisions.
  • A large portion of the social and recreational activities of adults with autism occurs in atypical settings.
  • Parents of adults with autism are concerned with balancing the important issues of safety and opportunity.















CARD continues to collaborate with families, policy-makers, service providers and other individuals across the state in the development and dissemination of a public awareness product about the lives of adults with autism and related disabilities which we hope will lay the foundation for significant progress in addressing the vocational, educational, residential, and social needs of adults with autism and related disabilities in Florida.

  • 38% of adults are not experiencing any vocational opportunity
  • 42% of adults experience only adult day training or sheltered workshop as their vocational opportunity
  • Only 7% of adults experience supported employment as vocational opportunity
  • Only 6% of individuals experience supported living as a residential opportunity
  • 74% of adults experience most of their leisure/recreation activities at home versus in the community
  • 50% of adults experience most of their leisure/recreational activities with other individuals with disabilities