NOTE: I wrote this article for a day program for their April 2019 Newsletter to bring to light the need for more autism-related natural supports and services in Fayette County Pennsylvania. Yesterday, I ran into a professional not only seeking information for individuals transitioning into adulthood in my county, but the adjoining county as well, and as such thought the need to share this article.
It’s that time again, April is Autism Awareness Month and for this year, I decided about the need to bring the facts specific to the forefront of Fayette County. According to the ASERT, there was an increase of 117% of individuals on the spectrum served between 2005 and 2011. Of the 2011 count, In Fayette County, the majority of individuals with autism receiving services are between the ages of 5-17. However, the number of adults over 21 years old is increasing as the population of individuals with autism receiving services ages. Furthermore, with it being 2019, this means the majority of individuals will be coming of age in the near future.
As a result. I personally believe we need to step up the game of services provided to adults on the spectrum. We need support groups to address High-Functioning adults and issues that they have as well as provide the supports specific to their needs, such as housing initiatives better personal care needs and other initiatives to make those on the spectrum successful and productive members of the community and society, including employment and education initiatives in which our Clubhouse program has been a driver to initiating to everyone in general.
While there is no cure for Autism, and it is lifelong, we need to secure a lifetime continuum of supports as individuals age over the years. We also must be grateful for the experts at the universities throughout the commonwealth for their dedication and expertise to those dedicated to the cause. Furthermore, we are also thankful to those at the Department of Human Services along with the state advocacy organizations that look for the wellbeing of individuals on the spectrum for years to come.