Neil Greenspan, writing in the Huffington Post, says the fundamental problems facing adults with autism-related disabilities are rarely addressed by the media. Reasonably typical, he says, is a young adult of his acquaintance who lives alone and is unemployed and socially isolated.
Among the problems Greenspan sees for adults with autism:
- A lack of organized support for socialization or recreation;
- A lack of job prospects, coupled with a lack of effective help in finding and maintaining work;
- A lack of housing options for adults who need some supervision or support;
- A shortage of trained medical professionals and coordinated care.
Current policies and practices usually condemn adults with autism to constricted lives of mostly sub-optimal choices. Progress on the core deficiencies identified above will have to be achieved if the majority of adults with autism are to have even a modest chance for reasonably fulfilling and productive lives. Continuation of the status quo will represent a moral as well as a policy failure, as warehousing should be for consumer goods, not people.
Greenspan is an immunologist in the Department of Pathology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.