By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary after the jump.
Feb 11, 2014, Newtown (CT) Bee: For CT Adults With Developmental Disabilities, Housing Help Unlikely Until Parents Die
Feb 10, 2014, BusinessWire.com: Tsunami of Young Adults with Autism Face Uncertain Future, Unemployment Crisis
Newtown (CT) Bee
Scott Langner was so excited when he learned he could one day move into an apartment with friends that he soon began talking about the invitations he'd use for his housewarming party.
He'd seen his older brother and sister go off to college and then their own apartments, and his parents hoped that Scott, who has developmental disabilities, autism and a seizure disorder, would eventually be able to move into a home with his friends, with supports funded by the state Department of Developmental Services.
But last year, they learned that was unlikely to happen. His mother, Collette Bement Langner, said they were told that DDS no longer has the money to provide him residential supports, and that Scott would likely live with his parents until they die.
This won't be happening JUST IN CT. This is the future as this generation of children enters adulthood. And I'm sure it won't just be housing that won't be there. It'll be daycare and services and job training. There will endless waiting lists. There are just too many people like this. Families will have to do more. BUT. . . when worn out parents are no longer able to care for their children, WHAT THEN?
With mounting evidence that America is ill-prepared to serve the tsunami of young adults with autism aging out of school programs, parents-turned-entrepreneurs and autism leaders called for a national movement to create sustainable business ventures that will employ 500,000 adults with autism expected to seek employment over the next decade.
“We are already at a crisis point, and this is just the start of the wave.”
You'll notice that that crisis here is coming up with jobs--but no questions about where all these young adults are coming from. There's lots of positive talk here about "empowering parents," "building partnerships," and "identifying skills." I'm sure this sounds like just what is needed for ASD young adults. I'd love something like this for my son. To the casual reader, problem solved. But there's nothing here about the "uncertain future" for all those severely disabled with autism. I'm sure the news coverage of happy kids interacting with speech therapists will be replaced by scenes of young adults folding diapers and stocking shelves.