Take a look at the original law that set up the structure for how the U.S. coordinates autism research: public law 109-416 (sometimes called the “combating autism act”) and you will find paragraphs like:
(5) develop and annually update a strategic plan for the conduct of, and support for, autism spectrum disorder research, including proposed budgetary requirements
(5) develop a strategic plan for the conduct of, and support for, autism spectrum disorder research, including as practicable for services and supports for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and the families of such individuals, which shall include–
“(A) proposed budgetary requirements; and
“(B) recommendations to ensure that autism spectrum disorder research, and services and support activities to the extent practicable, of the Department of Health and Human Services and of other Federal departments and agencies are not unnecessarily duplicative;
See that whole bit about “including as practicable for services and supports for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and the families of such individuals”? There’s a big emphasis on services in the new law and the next IACC will be addressing this in the future strategic plans.
There are so many areas of services that could use attention it is difficult to find one to single out as the first I’d like to see given attention. But I am going to say that services for autistic adults need more attention. With that I can predict that some people are thinking I’m saying jobs and independent living. And sadly some people don’t see that as important. But this is not what I’m focusing upon here. No, I’m thinking of what services are needed to make supportive living most appropriate for autistics. There is so much discussion of the unique and specific educational needs of autistics, especially in preschool, but there isn’t much discussion of what makes an appropriate placement for adults. If I’ve learned anything from observing many, many classrooms it’s that people with
By Matt Carey