Rutgers program supports adults with autism

Craig Lillard of Princeton is learning new job skills thanks to the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services.

According to Rutgers, an estimated 1 in 68 children nationally — 1 in 45 in New Jersey — is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Through high school, children with autism can get tutoring, mental health services, transportation and other resources to accommodate their unique needs, but once they leave the public school system, services diminish dramatically, leaving adults with little support outside of their families.

On Friday, state Senate President Steve Sweeney visited the center, where he learned about the center’s mission and programs, as well as met with Lillard.

“The Center for Adult Autism Services is working to accomplish something that I think everyone agrees should be our top priority,” Sweeney said. “It allows adults with autism to live as fulfilling a life as possible. We want everyone, no matter what challenges they face, to reach their fullest potential. This support can make a real difference in their lives. This is really very impressive. We really need these services throughout the state.”

Curated from authored by Susan Loyer


The FARM responds:

This sounds like a program that is needed nationwide.  And I agree, everyone deserves the chance to be able to have a fulfilling life.  Our society trains the children with the expectation that they will have a job at some time in the future.  Why don’t we have the same expectation for our Autistic children?

There was nothing in my son’s “transition plans” for HOW he was supposed to attend college – other than to contact the college’s support services.  And there was nothing in the “plan” that addressed what to do when the “plan” didn’t work.

I wonder how many of the older homeless people in our country are actually adults with autism.  Once the parents or relatives die, who looks after them if they aren’t able to work?

Cindy from The FARM

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