Autistic Kids Grow Up - Then What Happens?
PEOPLE WITH AUTISM REQUIRE CONTINUING CARE
One of the most difficult decisions of a family with a child with autism is how to adapt as they grow older.
An individual with autism must deal with the same language issues, repetitive behaviors and difficulty dealing with social interaction they faced when growing up. Some people with autism make progress after intensive physical and behavioral therapy, but many struggle with basic activities on a daily basis. Most of them need some kind of help for their entire adult life.
Life is more difficult for individuals with autism who find routine activities to be challenging and have problems dealing with anything that is unfamiliar. Many parents worry what will happen to their children with autism after they are gone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder. While there are programs to help them as children, there is less help available for individuals with disabilities once they become adults. Most government-sponsored therapeutic programs end when they turn 21, leaving them with few choices. There are few residential facilities available, but fortunately things are beginning to change. Awareness of autism has grown exponentially since the early 1990’s thanks to the Internet and better knowledge of the disorder.
Capitol Care, Inc. in New Jersey offers several Autism NJ programs designed to help people facing Autism as well as other developmental disabilities and mental illness in their state. Through the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Disability Services, Capitol Care, Inc. has an innovative residential program that allows individuals with disabilities to live in a comfortable and safe environment. The trained staff provides hands on supervision while setting realistic goals.
Capitol Care, Inc. also offers adult day and individual support programs in New Jersey aimed at helping individuals with disabilities live in an independent environment. All services provide education in setting personal goals and development, including life skills and management and community integration.
What makes these programs more effective than past efforts is the emphasis on assisting people with autism set specific goals. Therapeutic services cover the kind of life skills that can help an individual with disabilities develop independent skills such as shopping, cooking, and hygiene issues.
More agencies are launching programs like the “Transition Tool Kit” by Autism Speaks, an advocacy group. The service deals with housing, employment, and available public benefits.
When it comes to employment, a person with autism can perform a job that involves repetition quite well. Many have found success in these type of jobs and become solid contributors to society.
Increased awareness and studies are leading to a better understanding of autism and what can be done to improve the lives of people with the disorder.
For more information, please visit www.capitol-care.org or call 973-426-1447.