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Cleveland: Time to help young autistic adults; 500,000 are coming in next decade

June 9, 2021, Young adults with autism spectrum disorders often struggle to access services after high school, Case Western study says

The transition from high school to adulthood is a critical moment for young adults with an autism spectrum disorder, but new research from Case Western Reserve University suggests many of those individuals are struggling to access the services that could help them thrive. Young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were receiving an average of 6.13 services such as medical care, mental health care, case management and speech and occupational therapy…. “Just because you have a diagnosis of ASD, it doesn’t automatically qualify you for services. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get services,” Ishler said. “For the average family out there, that just makes their lives much more complicated.” The study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders focuses on 174 parents, grandparents or guardians of young adults with an ASD. Over an 18-month period prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the researchers conducted interviews with the caregivers to learn what services they were receiving and what services they were unable to obtain…. The “service cliff” could become even more of an issue over the next decade, when 500,000 individuals with an ASD are expected to reach adulthood. That will further increase demand on a system that is unprepared and underfunded, Ishler said. The service cliff Autism spectrum disorders are varied, and there is a wide range in the type and severity of the symptoms someone experiences. However, many individuals with an ASD remain reliant on caregivers into adulthood; Ishler said they have the lowest rate of independent living compared to those with other developmental or learning disabilities….


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