Adults with Autism
One in 88 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by the age of 8. Children do not grow out of autism, so what becomes of them once they are adults? Many will never live on their own, and for parents this means their responsibilities can last a lifetime.
The documentary "Coming of Age" looks at the issue in Massachusetts, where whether or not an autistic child continues to receive state services once they graduate from high school can often come down to an IQ score. If the child scores under 70, he or she qualifies for services, but if the child scores more than 70 on an IQ test, he or she is ineligible for services. Advocates are working to change this requirement and legislation is currently under consideration in Massachusetts. If the state does change it's rules to be more inclusive of autistic adults who don't meet the IQ requirement, where would the money come from to care for autistic adults? How would the state manage their care?
We talk with intellectual disability advocates and parents of adults with autism today. Do you have a child with autism? Leave a comment on our Facebook page, or Tweet us: @CallieCrossley.
Fred Misilo, attorney who focuses on special needs planning and elder law, former Deputy Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, past president of the Arc of Massachusetts, Inc.- an organization the provides services and advocacy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families
Sue Loring, director of the Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts, serves on the advisory board for a number of autism advocacy groups including Advocates for Autism in Massachusetts and the Governor's Special Commission on Autism, parent of a 27 year-old son with autism.
Karolyn Ryan, parent of an adult son with autism featured in "Coming of Age". Because her son tested slightly above a 70 on an IQ test when he came of age, he did not qualify for state services.
Betsy Roche, director of the Family Autism Center, which houses ALEC - the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition.