Losing the safety net: Adults with autism
It’s been 68 years since the first case of autism was diagnosed. For decades it was considered a rare disorder but in a single generation, autism has become one of the most common developmental disabilities, affecting an estimated 1.5 million Americans. With so many children diagnosed in the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of them will reach adulthood over the next decade. Their needs will swamp the already financially strained state services. At least 10 states have already cut funding for some of those very services, increasing the burden on families.
Need to Know’s Alison Stewart spent time with two such families who are ahead of the coming wave — older parents doing their best to provide a safe and happy future for their adult children with autism, in the face of uncertainty.