A study has revealed that almost 40% of young adults with autism get no medical services, mental health, speech therapy or case management services to help them make the transition into adulthood. This lack of assistance is 3times more pronounced among blacks and 6times among low income groups with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by problems with speech, language and social interactions. Autism is often associated with other conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 1 in 110 children is likely to be affected by an autism spectrum disorder. This prevalence has risen over the past two decades. Early intervention is necessary but since autism is a lifelong condition there is a need to find out ways for improving the life for autistic people of all ages. Young adults are especially vulnerable because of their challenges with communication and social interaction and also their greater reliance on others for assistance and high rate of health and mental health problems.
Study author and assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Paul Shauttuck said, "Young people with an ASD and their families are pushed off a cliff when students leave high school, where special education provides many needed services. Loss of supportive services generally means greater emotional and financial strain for family caregivers and reduced opportunities for the adult with autism to be productively engaged in the community."
Autism Speaks vice president of family services, Lisa Goring said, "We hear from families all the time that there really aren't enough services for adults in the areas of employment, housing options and supports such as recreational programs and post-secondary educational opportunities. More and more is being developed, but it doesn't meet the needs of all of the adults with ASD that are here now, and certainly there are many more coming."