Autism is a disorder that now affects one out of every 166 children born. It is a disorder that is permanent and negatively affects social development and thought processes. The transition into adulthood generally occurs at the age of fourteen, where preparation for adulthood starts. Now is a good time to consider job possibilities, if applicable, and what training will be needed to help an autistic child get ready for adulthood.
There are generally two types of autistics: high functioning and low functioning. Low functioning autistic adults need constant care. They generally live at home with their parents or in residential facilities where their needs can be constantly addressed. For most of these individuals, the world is a far away place that they cannot reach. Group homes and residential facilities are rare and highly expensive so many low functioning autistic adults are taken care of by their families.
On the other hand, high functioning autistic adults can be highly successful and lead relatively normal lives. They can work, support and care for themselves, and live on their own. This is not to say they do not face any problems. In fact, many high functioning autistic adults see their main problem as the way others perceive them. The ability of adults with autism to take care of themselves is often directly related to the need-based education they received as children. If properly taught social responses and accepted behaviors, autistic adults can function as contributing members of society. They can have families, careers, and social lives. However, the majority of even high-functioning autistic adults live at home or in residential facilities.
In terms of employment, autistic adults usually are best suited to jobs that address their particular strengths. According to research, autistic adults generally have limited short-term memory, but excellent long-term memory compared to most people. In addition, there are support groups and services that help autistic adults take care of themselves.
It is difficult to offer general advice for adults with autism because autism is a spectrum disorder. Some may need constant care, while others are brilliant and innovative thinkers. Each person with autism is profoundly different and requires different levels of help.
Organizations like the Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) provide employment opportunities for autistic adults. In addition, they conduct various job training programs based on the areas of strength for that particular candidate.
The ability of an autistic adult to manage a job, home, and taking care of financial obligations comes from education, training, and the severity of their disorder. There are autistic adults that have college degrees and are extremely innovative and there are others that require fairly simple jobs in order to succeed. Paying bills, cooking, and other independent behaviors can sometimes be taught. Other times, special services may be required to help independent autistic adults stay independent.
If you ask some, autism is a difficult disorder to live with. Many people with autism face social nightmares on a daily basis. Being unable to adequately mediate responses and situations is not a choice – it is part of who they are. However, with the right amount of support and training, many autistic adults can function in society. Many autistic adults indicate that the reactions of other people to their “bizarre” behaviors is often troubling. It is important that mainstream society becomes familiar with autism, especially since the number of autistic children being born is climbing at an alarming rate. Just like people with other disabilities, autistic people require special understanding. They are different from the majority of people, but this difference does not mean they are worthless, nor that they should not be given chances to succeed.