Although symptoms may change and even improve,
autism is a lifelong condition that presents many
challenges through adulthood. Whether an adult with autism lives in a group
home, independently, or with family, he or she still requires parental or some
Just as children with autism vary in their capabilities, so do
adults. Some autistic adults are completely dependent on parents or other
caregivers, while others are able to live a semi-independent life.
If your child -- or the child of a close friend or relative -- has just received a diagnosis of autism, you are probably feeling baffled and overwhelmed. It is never easy to learn that someone you love has a serious health or developmental condition. Learning all you can about the disorder -- and where to get help -- will ease your fear and confusion. It can also provide the tools you need to find the support that children with autism -- and you -- really need.
Resources for adults vary by state and community, but vocational
training programs exist in many areas. These programs can help eligible adults
with autism work on daily living skills to help them be as independent as
possible. Sometimes supported employment opportunities are available, which
allow both training and employment for the disabled. Information about state
programs can usually be found in the yellow pages of your telephone book under
the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Contact support groups or a
health professional for help in finding regional programs.
Parents must plan for the future of a child with autism. The cost of
care, eligibility for government assistance, and the individual skills and
abilities of the child should all be taken into consideration. Some government
services may pay in part or in full for your child's adult care, depending upon
different factors, such as your income. Become familiar with tax issues and
estate planning to ensure that your child will have proper care and necessary
resources available should you die. If you have other
children who have developed normally, include them in the planning.