Improving Quality of Life for Older Autistic People

This project seeks solutions for older autistic people who are dependant on ageing parents, or struggling to find opportunities to develop their skills. Many may also face age discrimination. In partnership with older autistic people, this project builds a set of tools and information aimed at building confidence, making social connections and providing guidance on training and employment.


Catalyst R2

Lead Organisation

University of Glasgow




Managing Complaints of Ageing, Social Support Connections

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About the project

The problem

  • Exclusion and isolation of autistic people;
  • Lack of knowledge and understanding of the needs of older autistics;
  • Barriers to contributing to society (right not privilege), though (older) autistics have a lot to offer;
  • Experience and expertise of (older) autistic people undervalued.

Proposed solution

Autistic people will have a major role in developing it. The following scenarios illustrate what it will look like.

Scenario 1

Older autistic person living with their parents; Unnecessarily dependent; Parents getting older and contacted charities whose solutions continue dependence.

  • Using the solution: Tools and information about confidence building and assertiveness; Links to groups of autistic people to discuss problem and possible solutions and for companionship; Tools to structure thinking about options and work out what is best. E.g. mindmapping tools; Links to advocates who can help them.
  • Benefits: Able to plan for changing living situation; Increased control of own life, independence, self-confidence and assertiveness; Increased opportunities for relationships and activities; Improved health.

Scenario 2

Frustrated older autistic person; other people take advantage of them and put them down at work; no opportunities to use or develop their skills; Not given the training that leads to opportunities; Age discrimination

  • Using the solution: Confidence building and assertiveness tools; Tools and information to identify new options; Links to advocates: guidance in completing applications for new job or college/university or talking to employer about training and a better job.
  • Benefits: Awareness of range of options; Able to determine and implement changes; Greater satisfaction and feeling of worth.

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