Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in the US, are eligible to get education and allied services through public school system until 22 years of age. But the services and benefits that ASD adults receive beyond that age vary from state to state. It also depends on a person’s individual level of functioning as well as the types of program available in his/her local area.
Many ASD adults, with proper therapy, are able to pursue a career, maintain professional and social relationships, and follow a relatively independent lifestyle. The level of support and care required by each person depends on the severity of his/her condition.
Like autistic children, ASD adults often suffer from sleep problems that call for treatment. A treatment plan usually includes weighted sleep blankets, white noise fans or machines, melatonin, or other medications. Such options help ASD adults get more restful sleep. They generally need some kind of counseling, coaching, and assistance to establish and maintain professional and personal relationships, learn and improve communication skills, find appropriate living arrangement, and seek and maintain employment.
Caregivers and counselors of ASD adults must contact his/her healthcare provider to help locate professionals for helping to find a place to live, acquire the necessary life skills, and seek financial assistance. National and local chapters of various non-profit groups, provide information on appropriate ASD services.
Adults having a milder form of ASD (formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome) are usually able to live independently with minimal help. Mild ASD adults may require some help to carry out simple maintenance tasks, and take care of their personal finances.
Any ASD adult, who lives with his/her parents at home, can claim medical aid, supplemental security income and other benefits.
While there have been some recent developments regarding social security to autistic adults, much still needs to be done as resources are still short.
The information and opinions shared in each article represent the point of view of the author of the article and may not necessarily be endorsed by Autism Today or Rangam.