16 January 2012

Left in autism's wake

A family member sent me a PBS NewsHour documentary on autism that I enjoyed watching. Congress mandated that students with certain disabilities, including autism, be provided until age 21 with an education targeted to their particular needs. One segment (below) poignantly asks the question, who will care for autistic patients once they become adults? Many autistic people require supervision and constant education, yet the availability of public services depends on the local government and is often limited. The sharply increasing prevalence of autism makes this question particularly urgent.

There's a strong case to be made for Congress to fund lifetime accommodations for those with serious illness (perhaps as part of Social Security). The only way this will happen is through public awareness.

The entire documentary is available via PBS. It runs approximately an hour and ten minutes long.