Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clinic Notes: What the Future Holds for the Child with Autism

Here's a stat to think about. At least 80% of 19 to 30 year old adults with autism are still living at home. Now factor in the increasing numbers of children with autism and it is not hard to forecast a crisis coming in a decade or so. It wasn't long ago that when one of the children in my clinic reached 18 and graduated from high school that I could get them in a group home and a sheltered workshop in a few months. Now it takes years, if it ever happens, because the waiting list is so long and few new group homes and sheltered workshops are being built. In my clinic we mainstream over 50% of the kids with autism we see. I don't know many of these kids will be able to find mainstream jobs when they grow up. So more kids being diagnosed with autism now means more adults with autism in the future. For those of us who work in the autism field it looks like we are getting an autism sandwich.