How Adult Services Differ From Children’s Services
The biggest difference between adult and children’s services is that most services provided to children under IDEA are entitlement-based, while the services provided to adults are eligibility-based. In other words, while school districts must provide children with free and appropriate education, state and federal governments may or may not determine that an autistic child is eligible for specific services or funding. What’s more, while school districts must find a way to serve autistic children even if funding diminishes, government agencies may reduce services if budgets shrink.
A second major difference relates to the appropriateness of programs and services for a person with autism spectrum disorder. In school, a child may have had access to autism-specific classes, therapies, and programs designed with the child’s specific needs in mind. As an adult, they are more likely to be lumped in with other people with developmental disorders of all sorts. This can be challenging, as adults with autism often have very different abilities, challenges, and needs from adults with, for example, Down Syndrome.
A third major difference in service provision relates to the organization providing those services. Most autistic children receive the vast majority of services through their school districts. Adults, by contrast, receive services and/or funding through three agencies whose names vary from state to state. On the federal level, the agencies are:
Challenging Behaviors In Adults With Autism
Challenging behaviors such as aggression, destructiveness, and self-injury take a tremendous toll on adults with autism and their caregivers. Each week, the Autism Research Institute receives desperate communications from caregivers seeking help for an adult son or daughter whose behavior is disturbing, dangerous, or even life-threatening.
In this editorial, I will look at the scope of this problem, current approaches for treatment, and the steps the autism community can take to help people with autism spectrum disorder and caregivers who are struggling with this serious issue.
The high rateand high costof challenging behaviors
Aggression, destructiveness, and self-injury are common among children with ASD, with the Autism Research Institutes E-2 database of more than 2,300 cases indicating that 59% of those with ASD engage in one or more of these behaviors. Other datasets also support the relatively high prevalence rate of challenging behaviors in this population . In a recent long-term follow-up study, Laverty et al. found that 44% of individuals with ASD continued to engage in self-injurious behaviors a decade later indicating that this behavior can be persistent and lifelong if not overcome .
Addressing the roots of challenging behaviors
The contributors to aggression, destructiveness, and self-injury can be classified into three categories: a biological basis, a social basis, and an initial biological cause that is later maintained by social consequences.
Music And Dance Promote Engagement And Social Inclusion In Autistic Children
Music and dance have been used both in therapy and education of children and young people with disabilities as well as those on the autism spectrum with a focus on promoting interactions and therefore inclusion . Either as stand-alone educational or therapeutic programmes, or embedded within play, literacy or learning tasks, music and dance have been shown to be beneficial for autistic pupils .
Within the school environment, dance has been used as a method to develop body awareness and enhance social communication and interaction . Music has long been found to support individuals on the autism spectrum achieve non-musical goals such as social skills . Research undertaken mainly in the music therapy field has provided evidence to suggest that music therapy can effectively enhance social interaction, verbal communication, and socioemotional development as well as promote interaction between autistic pupils and their peers .
Based on the aforementioned research, we suggest that participation in music and dance activities that are memorable and highly motivating, thus supporting engagement, may enhance social interaction, and therefore inclusion, of autistic pupils with their neurotypical peers. The current study is the first, to our knowledge, to explore the repetition of task as a tool to measure engagement for young children during music and dance tasks, which has a range of implications for research and practice.
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Complementary And Alternative Treatments
Some individuals and parents use treatments that do not fit into any of the other categories. These treatments are known as Complementary and Alternative treatments. Complementary and alternative treatments are often used to supplement more traditional approaches. They might include special diets, herbal supplements, chiropractic care, animal therapy, arts therapy, mindfulness, or relaxation therapies. Individuals and families should always talk to their doctor before starting a complementary and alternative treatment.
There may be other treatments available for individuals with ASD. Talk to a doctor or healthcare provider to learn more.
Where To Start If You Suspect You Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
If you think you may have autism spectrum disorder, the best place to start is with a self-assessment test. These informal questionnaires allow you to explore your symptoms and help you prepare for a discussion with a healthcare provider.
Once youve taken a self-assessment test, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. You can also contact a local ASD center, such as your nearest Autism Speaks treatment network location. These organizations may have a consulting psychologist on staff who can help you if a formal assessment is too expensive.
You can also pursue the following alternatives if you suspect you have autism spectrum disorder:
- Contact the psychology/psychiatry department of a local university or teaching hospital.
- Ask members of an adult autism support group where they received their diagnoses.
- Request doctor recommendations from your therapist or ask them to diagnose you.
- Reach out to the governing body for psychologists and ask for the names of doctors in your area familiar with ASD.
- Obtain a diagnosis from a supervised graduate student at a local university or teaching hospital.
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Using The Music And Dance Programme
The programme consisted of an original story complemented by dance and music tasks relating to its content and designed specifically for this study. The sessions followed the lesson structure often used in early years education encompassing music and dance elements . The story recounts the adventures of Leo, the lion, and his animal friends in their search for treasure. The story was divided into six sections to match the sessions of the programme. Each session included a range of props to increase the level of engagement and connection with the story. The programme, delivered to seven groups of six children, took part in a separate area of the school at the same time and day each week. When there was a key member of staff already supporting the autistic child during the school day, they were present in the session. All sessions were recorded on video two cameras were used to increase the covered area. The first author watched all 35 of the videoed sessions, during the time period that the task of the previous session was performed.
Diagnosis Of Autism In Adults
There are currently no ASD diagnostic criteria specifically for adults. But the current DSM-5 criteria can be adapted and used for this age group.
Clinicians primarily diagnose adults with ASD through a series of in-person observations and interactions. They also take into consideration any symptoms the person reports experiencing.
If youre interested in being evaluated for ASD, begin with your family doctor, who will evaluate you to be certain that there is no underlying physical illness accounting for your behaviors. Your doctor may then refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for an in-depth assessment.
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I Work In A Further Education Institute
The resources within this section were developed in partnership with autistic people, parents/ carers, and professionals. The resources are aimed at increasing the knowledge, skills, and understanding of autism for those working in further education and to provide a practical handbook for autistic students.
Tip : Manage Anxiety And Depression
Some people find that anxiety and depression go hand in hand with symptoms of ASD. For example, difficulty relating to others can lead to feelings of anxiety. Increased anxiety can, in turn, make it even harder to communicate. You might even feel so flustered that you cant form sentences.
Feelings of isolation can also trigger depression. But there are steps you can take to manage your mood and improve how you feel.
Stay active. Exercise is good for the mind and eases stress. Some studies show that vigorous exercise can be especially useful for helping adults with ASD manage aggression. Find an aerobic exercise that fits neatly into your routine and wont potentially throw your schedule into chaos. It may be something as simple as going for daily walks or runs. Make sure its something you enjoy, so youre more likely to stick to it.
Rely on close friends. Socializing can also be good for your mood, as long as the people youre with dont stress you out. Find people who share your interests. Thanks to the Internet, its easy to find people in your local area who share your interests. If possible, look for conventions or other gatherings where people who share your hobby come together and interact in person.
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How Good Is It When People Get You
If you dont know what that feels like, just step through the front door of any one of our autism-specific adult community centres.
With a caring, professional team of highly trained employees, we know how to bring out the best in people on the autism spectrum and wed love to talk with you about the possibilities after leaving school and beyond.
Welcome To Autism Wales
Helping to improve the lives of autistic people and their families in Wales.
Welcome to Autism Wales, the national autism site for Wales. On the site you will find information about what autism is, and what services and training opportunities are available online and across Wales. The website is helping to deliver the Welsh Government autism vision and strategy and has a key place in ensuring that Wales is an autism friendly nation.
There are also a wide range of free downloadable resources that have been developed with autistic people, parents/ carers and professionals from across Wales.
It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 100 people, together we can help improve the knowledge, awareness and understanding of autism to make positive and lasting changes to peoples lives.
If you want to contact us please use the contact page. For the most up to date information and to find out what is going on in Wales, please visit our news section regularly and make sure that you follow us on and .
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Planning Starts At 14
Senator says parents often begin panicking when their kids hit 14 and transition planning starts coming up. IDEA requires every state to begin this process for all students with an Individualized Education Program by age 16, and some states require that school districts start the process as early as 14. During the annual IEP meeting, the focus shifts to more specific planning and goal-setting for the transition into young adulthood. Goals might include things like post-secondary education, vocational training, and independent living. Autism Speaks also provides a Transition Tool Kit, which offers guidance on everything from housing to Internet safety.
When it came to Nat, Senator created a shared living arrangement. Its like a group home, except that theres a live-in caregiver, which Nat qualifies for due to his level of disability, as opposed to rotating staff. The idea is that its just like home, Senator says. Hes got to do the groceries, clean and do the laundry, assisted by another part-time caregiver. Nat shares a house not far from his family with another young man with similar issues that mans family owns the house and Nat rents from them.
How Medical Professionals Diagnose Adult Asd
If you start with your primary care physician, theyll review your concerns and refer you to a specialist. This specialist will then perform a thorough evaluation that includes behavior checklists, symptom self-reporting, and direct observations.
Theyll also speak with your parents, siblings, and significant other to gain a holistic picture of your lifelong behavior patterns. Once the evaluation is complete, youll meet with the specialist to review your results and explore treatment options.
Community Support And Housing
You may be able to live independently or need occasional or full-time support to help you with household tasks and to get out and about in your local community.
This support can be accessed through your local social services. You have a right to an assessment of your supportrequirements if you have an apparent need.
You should contact your local social services , social work department or Health and Social Care Trust to ask for anassessment of your needs.
School Assistance For Children On The Autism Spectrum
Preparing a child on the autism spectrum for school can sometimes be a complicated process. Each child has unique strengths and skills and may require a personalised learning and support plan, so the sooner you begin planning the better.
Think about which school might be best and talk to the teachers and staff about your child’s needs. If they are receptive, welcoming and willing to be flexible, book a visit. It is a good idea to go alone on your first visit so you can openly discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
Deciding on the school is only the first step. Staying engaged and providing ongoing support is important so that your child can adjust well to their new environment. Visit the Amaze website for more information on preparing your child for school.
website also provides information to assist parents of children on the autism spectrum to prepare for the transition to school.
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Variability In Adults With Autism
Not all adults with autism are alike.
- Some adults with autism have successful careers in demanding fields such as information technology, robotics, and video game production.
- Some work part-time while also taking advantage of day programs and resources.
- Some are unable to function in the workplace and spend their days in sheltered settings.
- Some adults on the spectrum are happily married or partnered.
- Others have romantic friendships.
- Some are unable to form meaningful, reciprocal relationships with peers.
These vast differences make it just as tough to define or provide services for adults with autism as for children on the spectrum.
Options Include Day Programs
Meanwhile, some parents of young children are already researching options. Chew has put Charlie on a waiting list for state housing but is thinking the ideal immediate plan will involve a part-time job with a good day program.
She writes that her new hobby/obsession is finding something comparable to the county school for autistic children, which he loves and where he learns daily living and vocational skills. But this appears to be difficult if not impossible, she says. I know the day that yellow bus does not pull up in front of our house will be a tough one.
Chew is well aware that funding shortages make her idea of extending special-needs services to 25 a pipe dream. But she also knows that the dearth of options leads many parents to keep these young people at home, often idle and lacking the structure, routine and calm those with ASD need to do their best.
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Adult Services Vary From Person To Person
Children’s autism services are customized, meaning that they provide a “free and appropriate education” based on the individual’s particular strengths and challenges. Adult services are also customizedbut in addition the type and level of support available from AIDD and DVR vary radically depending based on the state in which someone lives in and, in some cases, physical location within the state.
High School Students With Autism
The teenage years can be a difficult time for those on the autism spectrum and their families. Like any teenager, they may have to deal with issues including sexuality, bullying, anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.
It can be hard to know when to start talking about puberty and how to explain some of the changes they are going through. Be as open and as honest as you can and let them know you are there for them all the time, even if they do not want to talk. Visit the Family Planning Victoria website for useful information on sexuality and people with a disability.
Some teenagers on the autism spectrum may be teased and bullied. Find more information on how to support your teenager on the autism spectrum on the Amaze website.
Approaching the time to leave school may result in a high level of anxiety for a young person on the autism spectrum and their family as they determine their next steps. There are a number of resources and supports that may be of assistance.
The Department of Education and Training’s Strengthened Pathways Planning for young people with disabilities – Parent Information provides guidance for parents on careers and transition planning for young people with disabilities. Links to relevant information, resources and services are included.
The document can be found at the Department’s website.
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