PBS offered a hard-hitting look at this problem a couple of years ago in their video where they illuminated
some of the cold-hard facts; Autism rates have soared and the $1.31 Billion cost of adults with Autism in
2011 will increase to $26.84 Billion by 2023, as half a million Autistic children become adults.
The video likens this increase in cost to a “… tsunami that we can see coming…” when Autistic children
become adults, their services are cut dramatically and they essentially fall off of a resources cliff.
People with developmental disabilities are funded on an as-available basis, not by entitlement. If the
money is there, they will get some aid. Unfortunately the government program behind this funding is
MedicAid, which has been drastically cut through many states due to the financial market crash. Our
overwhelmed system is becoming even more so.
In high school, Autistic teens have an Individual Education Program, low teacher- student ratios and even
One-on-One Aides, and work-study programs where they have “real” jobs at “real” corporations. Once they
graduate from high school, some at age 18 and some at age 22, everything stops, including job opportunities.
The business community needs to become aware that the autism talent-pool is highly trainable, reliable,
dedicated and in many cases highly skilled.
Where Will The Next Generation of Autistic Children Go When They Grow Up?
Many of us spend sleepless nights wondering, what will happen to our children once they become adults? Will
they ever live independent lives? What will happen to them when we are no longer able to take care of them?
Where will they go?
The unemployment rate for people with Autism is as high as 80%-90%, with many of those with jobs working
in sheltered job sites and not in the “real world”. Many Autistic people are more than willing to have jobs
and go to work every day, but the opportunities for them just are not out there.
NEED TO KNOW – Losing the safety net: Adults with Autism – PBS
View this video on YouTube at: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofGG4W-qAc8)
Read the full Evening Sun article entitled “Autism: When Autistic Children are
no Longer Children” at: (http://www.eveningsun.com/ci_23454488)