An adult diagnosis of autism can be both disorienting and distressing; discover how you can seek assistance and gain understanding.
Contrary to children with autism, adults do not automatically qualify for government entitlements like Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services or other disability programs; rather they must demonstrate eligibility in order to access them.
Just like with children’s services, adult autism services vary considerably by state and region within one state. Some individuals may qualify for autism programs for adults exceptional day programs and residential settings; in others these options will be limited or nonexistent.
People living with ASD often also exhibit co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, leading many adults to undergo full psychiatric evaluation as part of an autism spectrum disorder assessment.
Easterseals provides several day programs designed to promote socialization, recreation and community involvement for adults with ASD. These include CONNECTIONS and GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES from Easterseals; Vista also has an autism-specific day program called BLUE (Balanced Living Unlimited Exploration). Activities will be tailored specifically for your interests and needs with an emphasis on independence and exploration; participants also have opportunities for volunteerism within their communities as well as work coaching if they gain competitive employment with support provided from Easterseals/Vista/VISTA to ensure its participants’ success!
Families strive for their child with autism to live as independently as possible in their home environment, but sometimes this isn’t possible. Residential care may be necessary in order to protect both themselves and other residents in the neighborhood. There are various options available to individuals with autism requiring residential placement care.
Independent living entails living alone in their own house or apartment without requiring much support services, while supportive living offers additional assistance, such as learning daily living skills or managing finances. Group homes allow individuals living under similar conditions to cohabitate together supervised by staff members, often using state funding sources such as Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income payments as funding.
Some communities provide transition homes designed specifically to assist autistic adults as they transition towards independence. These homes allow autistic adults an opportunity for socialization while still benefiting from family home comforts.
Receiving an autism diagnosis as an adult can be daunting, yet having an official diagnosis can provide clarity and access to services that may aid.
Speech therapy has proven extremely useful to many adults with autism. It enables better communication and response time to sensory stimuli like light, sound and smells.
Social skills training (SST) may also provide adults with autism an effective solution. SST helps individuals engage in conversations, read social cues, manage emotions and cope with sensory sensitivities more easily.
Other treatment options for anxiety disorders may include behavioral and cognitive therapies. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), one of the most frequently employed behavioral interventions, seeks to modify problematic behaviors while teaching new ones through discrete trial training – teaching people how to repeat specific tasks over and over again. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), on the other hand, targets negative thought patterns which contribute to anxiety while teaching relaxation techniques to ease discomfort.
Support groups provide an ideal space to share experiences and concerns with those of similar experiences and concerns. Groups may be led by a social worker or mental health clinician and often include a facilitator who keeps things on track while making sure everyone who wishes to speak has their turn to speak.
Autism support groups can offer both emotional support and educational benefit. Education-focused support groups typically present new strategies and techniques while emotional support groups provide a safe place for parents of children living with autism to express their emotions about being parents themselves.
Some support groups are open to the public while others are “closed”, creating an intimate community environment. Closed support groups typically require registration requirements and meet regularly over 6-8 weeks; meetings may take place in homes, church halls or office buildings and can even be managed by state agencies as well as local organizations with autism advocacy responsibilities.
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