More than 0.5 million people, around 1 in every 100 people have the condition in U.K alone. But because the majority of these people are younger than 22, the country is on the verge of an “autism tsunami” that could leave thousands without the support they need as they become adults. The current system we have right now is woefully inadequate.
Defined as a developmental disorder that can impair social, communication and behavioral skills, autism is a spectrum disorder that can range in severity from person to person. Some individuals with autism are considered high-functioning and can live independently requiring minimal, if any, help. Others, however, may need partial or full supervision and assistance to navigate even the most basic tasks of everyday life. Every county offers programs for people with autism, which can be accessed through the social services. But parents wait for more support for non institutional services such as services provided by SmilingSteps which can improve the likelihood of independent living by accessing, early and consistently, the types of life skills that help improve the communication and social skills of people with learning difficulties. Early intervention programs are available for any young adult over the age of 16 who demonstrates a developmental delay.
As young adults with autism get older, life skills should continue to deal with any issues that may arise or hinder their ability to function in everyday life. Some people may continue to need speech therapy or help with social skills, while others may require support to combat the anxiety and depression that often accompany autism.
As the “autism tsunami” looms – 1 in every 100 children continue to be diagnosed with the condition.