Review: Autism: Aging Out

Autism: Aging Out travels across Pennsylvania to show the successes and challenges individuals and families face when a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder turns 21 and navigates new pathways to joining the workforce; living situations; health and wellness; and social engagement.

I found this on my PBS affiliate recently and to no suprise did the documentary touch the many barrierts that families of autistic individuals face when the age out of the educational system or hit the ciff.

As autism is a condition unique to the individual, I have been fortunate to have had some kind of services since high schoo and be employed for the majority and 2/3 of of my adulthood with my current employer.

This documentary brings to light many of the barriers that families face yet if they are the can do parents in the ways that my parents were raising me, it shows how it can bring some sort of desired outcome to my life.

One thing that has was continually noted is that no family wanted their autistic family member to be a couch potato, something that sort of “hit home with me that I need to keep working and engaged beyond the realm of my home. Yet, speaking of home, it was noted that 75% of autistic individuals live with their familes as often there are placements lacking to meet an individuals unique needs.

Also noted was the disparites of autistics in minorties and the fact that autism does not discriminate against anyone regardless of physical demographic. Also was mentioned was how autistic individuals can be tramatized by the legal systems.

Lastly, outlined, specifically in Pennsylvania was the waiver process and the demand for services in our state and that spots only become added when someone passes away or moves, however for myself, I relinqished my waiver placement over a decade ago becuase my family and I determined that it was no longer of need, but that is a very unusual circumstance.

While the puzzle piece is used and everyone has different beliefs about it, a disclaimer was made prior to the start of the program that individuals and families are unique in how they choose to refer to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, using either “person-first” language or “identity-first” language. To be as inclusive and respectful as possible, this documentary and web-extras use both kinds of references.

You can find out more information about the documentary here.

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