There has been an increase in prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children psychiatry in recent years. However, the attention that the issue is paid decreases significantly as these children begin to age and transtition into teenage years and ultimately, adulthood. Anne Roux, M.P.H. a research scientist states that the current research, while worthy of praise, is leaving the entire population of aging people with Autism Spectrum Disorder “underserved”.
Autism is usually highlighted and focused on in early, developmental years, but the condition is life long. The heavy focus on children with autism leaves adults with autism in a world full of misconceptions about the disorder in adult years. The misconceptions within the medical industry specifically leaves a scaricty of resources for adults with autism as they age and continue to try to navigate through life.
It has been shown that while secondary schools are often equipped to provide counseling services and developmental programs, less that sixty percent of students with ASD are actually receiving the proper assistance from schools when it comes to transition planning.
The report “National Autism Indicators Report: Transition Into Young Adulthood” was created to track how young adults with ASD are actually living as they transition out of school, and the reality is unfortunately on the bleak side. When children with ASD leave high school, only thirty six percent of them actually make it through a post secondary education program and only fifty eight percent of them were able to acquire gainful employment. Even more astonishing is that individuals with ASD are only able to live independently nineteen percent of the time.
The findings of the report are able to clearly conclude that adults with ASD begin to suffer and lose direction immediately after completeling high school. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder are not developing function skills as quickly as their brain develops, which leads to difficulty with communication, speech, and social development. This directly effects their ability to adapt to their societal surroundings and to become self sufficient. Roux has outlined that there is a huge need for more study and data on adult-age individuals with ASD, to create a better measurement of progress, and ultimately more resources for adults with ASD.
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