Millions of dollars in support services and research is going into treating children with autism, but the elephant in the room is that children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. Where is the career support and research for adults with autism? 1 in 45 American children now have autism, and we need to be ready for them as they grow into adulthood.
A recent article in Forbes stated:
The National Institutes of Health funding for autism research is similarly sparse for research into adult needs. Some autism-related groups emphatically reject the idea that autistic adults exist because recognizing that they do would mean acknowledging that vaccines of the latter 20th century couldn’t be to blame for autism.
In the CBS article, [Neurotribes author Steve] Silberman calls for change:
“Our society needs a massive reset in terms of its priorities,” Silberman said. “One of the main problems facing families now is their children aging out of services. Yet almost all of the funding into research goes into investigating causes…The initial mission of the parents’ movement — the autism parents’ movement — was to change laws and develop resources and build schools so that the world was a better place for autistic kids. All that energy got diverted into a dead-end argument about vaccines in the 1990s”
It’s time to do more than listen. It’s time to act, it’s time to look around and see what needs to be done for autistic people, adults and children, across a lifetime and fund it.
Here at Impact Network we are committed to performing long-term studies of patients with autism so we can identify how to change treatments to adapt to the changing cognitive and social demands across the lifespan. We are committed to identifying inexpensive treatments that a patients can access their entire life, rather than supportive services that terminate once they reach adulthood.