Letter: Adults with autism need help, too
I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in February 2007 at 35, but I’ve had it since I was a kid.
With April being Autism Awareness Month, this should be a serious wake-up call.
In 2000, 1 in 166 kids was diagnosed with a form of autism. That figure has been climbing ever since.
In 2014, 1 in 68 kids was diagnosed with a form of autism, an increase of 59 percent.
But what about adults with autism? Isn’t there a stat for that?
Why aren’t adults who have autism covered by insurance? You think kids can outgrow autism? That answer is no.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that the number of adults living with autism is expected to climb by about 700 percent by 2030.
The cost to support an adult with autism in a supported living setting ranges from $50,000 to $100,000 per year.
From 1990, when stats were first taken, the number of adults being diagnosed with autism has nearly tripled.
According to a story from Autism Speaks:
“Those with a disability living in poverty in the U.S. climbed to nearly 29 percent in 2013 while the jobless rate for those with a disability was at nearly 13 percent. Less than 20 percent of the 29 million Americans with a disability 16 and older actually have a job. About 500,000 Americans with a disability are expected to outgrow school-based support groups after reaching 21 over the next decade. In a survey that was taken with 400 Americans with disabilities findings included: Those with a disability cannot save for emergencies. Some fear that making too much money could disqualify them from receiving support needed to live independently. Others have even reported discrimination on the job including wages and places that they cannot get to.
“In December 2014 President Barack Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law. It allows disabled people to have tax-exempt savings accounts without the risk of losing benefits like Social Security supplemental income or Medicaid. The bill was sponsored by Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr.”
Adults who are in the Autism Spectrum Disorder need advocacy and should be covered by insurance. They should have the right to pursue their passions and dreams, have an equal opportunity to acquire and possibly work the jobs that they want.
Here’s a question: When it comes to filling out a job application, does Asperger’s qualify for “special accommodations”?
Dennis A. Brown II, Dearborn