Advocates highlight the need for adult autism services

Autism affects more than three million Americans

BOSTON (WWLP) – April 2 marks Autism Awareness Day, a chance for advocates and family members to urge state lawmakers to fund autism support services.

Autism affects every child differently. It is a brain disorder that makes it difficult for people to communicate and socialize with others. People who have been diagnosed with autism need specialized attention and care – which can be costly. Governor Charlie Baker fully funded a program that offers one-on-one behavioral therapy to children.

He said, “you give them an enormous chance to develop much more quickly and to lead a far more fulfilling life and I think that’s exactly the sort of thing we should support.”

Advocates focused on the need to fund autism services for adults because the state does not mandate those services.

“They need housing, or just housing support, transportation help. They need these supports and they can be successful,” said Susan Senator, the mother of an adult with autism.

Home care providers are expensive, but they are useful because they help autistic adults with everyday activities such as cooking and laundry. 22News talked to a home care provider who describes the experience as worthwhile.

“We’re just like roommates. We have a lot of fun together, but we also work on things like teaching him to cook and clean and all of that,” said Josh Excellent.

Autism affects more than three million Americans, and that number is on the rise. Autism is a disorder that affects all races and socioeconomic groups.

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