What The District Is Not Addressing
Real Life Statistics
According to a National Autistic Society survey of over 450 children and adults with autism, an astonishing 70% of adults with autism are unable to live independently. Of these individuals, 49% live with family members, creating a huge financial burden on aging parents, and 32% live in residential care facilities, which offer little or no privacy, autonomy, or stimulation.
Only 3% of adults with autism live fully independently. In terms of employment, only 6% of adults hold paid, full-time jobs. Regarding mental health, over half of adults with autism have been diagnosed with depression some time in their adult life while 11% say they have suffered a "nervous breakdown."
And even though the majority of adults surveyed had participated in at least two autism interventions in childhood, 65% continue having difficulty making friends. Of teens surveyed, 74% stated that they had difficulty making friends. Of children under 13 years old, 31% participated in no social activities at all.
Clearly this data shows the burden on quality of life for adults with autism, issues such as independence, self-determination, employment, mental health, social support, and meaningful relationships are virtually ignored when planning treatments, assessing treatment outcomes, or evaluating an overall program’s effectiveness.
Adults with autism are in need of treatment programs which focus on improving family life, self-perception, self-esteem, confidence, ability to compete in employment opportunities, the ability to live in the least restrictive environment, ability to decrease depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns, for more successful outcomes.