According to the latest numbers, one in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism. The rate is even higher among boys, at one in 55.
Moms across the nation are talking about the need for autism awareness, autism research, autism funding -- but one aspect that's often overlooked is what's going to happen to all of these children when they grow up. Moms Matter investigated and found some disturbing information about the resources currently available for adults with autism. See what we found in our video report after the jump.
Help for autistic adults varies from state to state, but in every state, government resources run out for those with autism somewhere between the ages of 18 and 23. After that, adults with autism are pretty much on their own unless they can get help through privately funded organizations.
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In Tennessee, for example, adults with autism can apply for disability help, but in order to qualify, their IQ must be below 70. Obviously, many with autism have moderate or even high IQs, so they don't qualify for special help from the state.
Autism advocates say some adults with autism end up homeless, while others turn up at psychiatric hospitals and receive medication for their problems, when what they really need is therapy. Clearly, with the number of children being diagnosed with autism on the rise, this is an issue that is not going away for our nation any time soon. I was very surprised to discover the lack of resources for autistic adults, and troubled to find that there's not much dialogue going on now regarding how we as a nation are going to handle the rapidly increasing number of autistic adults in the future.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Are you concerned about the lack of resources available to adults with autism? Do you see this as a potential problem for our nation in the coming years? With our economy where it is and funding for existing services already strapped, what's the solution?
Image via BLW Photography/Flickr