As children with disabilites age-out of the school system and into adulthood, families are facing a crisis that will impact everyone.
Parents of adults with intellectual disabilities are facing a lack of compassion and resources to care for their aging, impaired children. The sudden elimination of educational options when a disabled child turns 21 is so dramatic and universal, some parents refer to it as 'falling off of a cliff".
We are heading towards a crisis that is barreling towards us like a tsunami! There will soon be more intellectually and developementally disabled adults living in our country than at any other time in our history.
The explosion of children with autism, intellectual disabilities, etc. has a looming social, economic and moral crisis. What happens with and for the vulnerable adults and the famiiles that struggle to care for them?
The harsh reality is the hundreds of thousands over the next several years will no longer receive educational supports and services under the Federal Individualized Disabilities Act (IDEA).
"Aging Out" pushes these individuals into a horribily lacking system for disabled adults. This not only affects the severly disabled, but also those considered "high functioning". They will not be able to magically stop requiring supports after they reach age 21.
Day Habilitation Services is often simply babysitting. The adults do taple top activities, color, and watch television.
While the number of children on autism spectrum disorder is rising, more living, working and support options must be put in place.
Pennsylvania has one of the largest waiting lists, approximately 13,800.