Tuesday, February 19, 2008

National Autistic Society: Adults Need More Support

The results of a survey by the National Autistic Society in England are at the end of this post. Frankly, the results are a bit disturbing, although I am not shocked. I have had comments on my blog and have seen comments on other sites that infer that there aren't enough services for adults on the spectrum. Many (but not all) children in schools are currently receiving services and there are many programs springing up that support youngsters with Autism Spectrum Disorder such as the summer arts and music camp my son attends.

However, autistic adults living with parents, caregivers or struggling on their own seem to face a general lack of support. Many older adults, especially those with higher functioning autism, have not yet received a diagnosis of ASD or received the diagnosis just within the last five years as awareness of autism has increased. Hopefully as autism awareness and advocacy spreads, so will support. Unfortunately, in the meantime, there are many individuals out there in need of help.

There are programs specifically for adults such as Bittersweet Farms located in Northwest Ohio. Bittersweet farms, inspired by a similar model in England, has twenty residents who farm, work with animals, machinery, etc. They have a waiting list. It's too there aren't more residential opportunities such as this one available to adults on the spectrum.

Below are the results of a survey conducted by the United Kingdom's National Autistic Society :
  • 63% of adults with autism do not have enough support to meet their needs.
  • 60% of parents say that a lack of support has resulted in their son or daughter having higher support needs in the long term.
  • A third of adults (33%) say they have experienced severe mental health difficulties because of a lack of support.
  • Over 60% of adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism have struggled to receive support from their local authority and/or health service. Of these, 52% were told that they do not fit easily into mental health or learning disability services.
  • 61% of adults rely on their families for financial support and 40% live at home with their parents.
  • 92% of parents are worried about their son's or daughter's future when they are no longer able to support them.


Casdok said...

It is a worry. It has taken me 2 years to find somewhere in the UK for my son for his adulthood. Suitable places are indeed very few and far between.

J said...

Wow. Two years. I thought of you and C when I wrote this post. You have done an amazing job finding help for your son. We can only hope that more suitable places spring up for adults. Best wishes--jml.