SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- In the 1980s, 400 Utah children diagnosed with autism became the subject of long-term study.
They have contributed greatly to researchers’ understanding of the disorder’s prevalence and characteristics. Just last year, a study showed a surprising number grew up to have fulfilling lives as adults with jobs, meaningful relationships.
Now researchers want to know the "whys" behind the good and less than favorable outcomes, which will entail tracking down as many of the original 400 as possible.
"We think we can get about 70 percent of those who are still living. We know at least 20 have died,” said lead investigator William M. McMahon, professor and chairman of the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. “We’re most concerned about reaching those who may have moved out of state."