We all know the statistics on ASD prevalence in America — I’ve even posted about it before here — so I’m not going to retrace my steps on the subject.
What I want to talk about instead is what happens now? Where do we go from here? What do we do with these statistics?
Now, without getting into polarizing and political opinions, I think the Affordable Care Act has some interesting potential to change the game in America.
Up until now, the bulk of the resources has been invested in our children. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what happens when our children with an ASD grow up into adults with an ASD?
Sadly, not many resources, if any, are available to adults with an ASD. I, myself, was bounced from my therapist and psychiatrist when I was in college simply because I turned 21, and they wanted to focus primarily on the youth.
Some resources like the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Research have started offering services for adults, and I applaud them for it.
I’ve always said to catch the symptoms early and treat them right away for the child’s success. What about those who didn’t get such early intervention? They are now adults with very little resources available. Have they missed their opportunity because nobody acted soon enough? Right now, that answer is yes…
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!
Here’s where “Obamacare” comes into play. I’d love to see families leverage the Affordable Care Act to acquire more resources for adults on the Spectrum. Since they can no longer be denied coverage because of their preexisting condition (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder), that starts to level out the playing field for adults.
Again, I don’t intend to start any political arguments within my posts. That’s not what I’m here to push. My agenda is simply advocating for Autism Equality. I believe the Affordable Care Act can be leveraged for that goal, though I understand many may not share in that belief.
The end goal for all of us dealing with ASD should be to provide the best possible opportunities for success for our affected loved ones. That includes our adults as well as our children.
I could go into the employment rate for adults on the Spectrum, but I think I’ll save that for another post.
Until then, let’s see how the Affordable Care Act actually affects Autism Awareness in practice.