A day in the life of a single mom raising a teenager and a child with autism. I believe that it's not what we receive, but what we give away that defines us. I want to give away all that I have learned and experienced in hopes that it will help families raising a child with autism or any disability. This is my candid journal where I open up my world and share my joys, knowledge, lessons, disappointments, challenges, frustrations, fears and successes - one day at a time.
Friday, September 6, 2013
The Number of Adults with ASD is Expected to Increase by 1,292% by 2020
Nick saw a new doctor. As goes the routine, I described autism as defined by
Nick. When the doctor told me that Nick was doing great, as compared to so
many of his other clients, there was no part of me that jumped up to applaud our progress. Instead, I thought about how much further I
wish Nick was. We are doing pre-vocational training teaching him to shop and do daily chores, which he now does flawlessly. Yet, my first thought was had I done all I could, was it enough to make a difference. Then I got really
sad as I thought about all the boys he must be talking about who will enter
adulthood without even the “life skills” Nick has. For the hundredth time I thought dear God, what’s going on with our almost adult boys, what is
this doctor seeing? When I got home I looked up stat’s and here’s what I found.
The Number of Adults with ASD is Expected to Increase by 1,292% by 2020, and no one is prepared.
estimated 80 percent of autistic Americans receiving services are under the age
of eighteen. In front of us is a tsunami of young adults, who once they hit their 21st birthday, all of the support
that they had from school or behavioral health services comes to a screeching
halt, which translates into actual negative outcomes for autistic adults.
2005 to 2010, there was a 179 percent increase in autistic adults, and that
number is expected to increase by 1,292 percent by 2020, according to the
Department of Public Welfare.
states have minimal state-funded programs for autistic individuals over 21.
Pennsylvania, a leader compared to the rest of the country has only 2, who collectively, only helped 456 out of about 7,000
autistic adults in 2012.
This lack of adult services is chronic in
the US where one in four adults with autism reported that they needed, but were
not receiving vocational training, career counseling or supported employment
and more than 50 percent reported an unmet need for mental and emotional health
services in general.
Imagine the future when this generation of
disabled children becomes dependent on the taxpayers for their support and
care. Or, a world where they live in institutions and are lined up along walls to get their showers by way of violent fire hoses. Sound unbelievable, it's not. That was the life in the late past of the last decade.