The needs of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the ability of state to meet those needs are in stark contrast. Individuals with ASD want to have the right to grow and thrive in the communities of their choosing, but the infrastructure, resources and vision necessary to promote those rights are too often lacking.
The Centers for Disease reported in May 2018 that Autism rates in America have increased; now 1 in 59 children are on the spectrum. What amounts to a 15 percent rise in just two years is cause for alarm, as is the overwhelming massive influx of funding for research to try and find such a cause. But for those of us who work with adults with autism, these high rates are cause for even more concern because the overwhelming majority of all autism-related funding, research, and services is geared to young children.
Yet, in the United States in the next decade, more than 500,000 people on the Autism spectrum will age into adulthood. And the U.S. is grossly unprepared to deal with this population. Studies project that direct and indirect costs for special education, paid caregivers, adult day care, and lost productivity for those who have Autism and their families who support them will rise to $461 billion dollars in the United States by 2025. It may top $1 trillion if the diagnosis rate continues to increase.
Where is this money going to come from?
Families and individuals are uniquely positioned to effectively drive home the message that we have an Autism Epidemic in Connecticut, that this crisis is avoidable and unacceptable and to impact the decisions of policy makers. ASRC has always believed that families can make a difference at the Connecticut General Assembly and will continue to work with policy makers to change the system of support for our families.
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