For Children And Young People
For people under 25, ask your council about their “local offer”.
This is the name for the support they provide for young people with special educational needs.
Every council has to have a local offer.
You can also get advice about the local offer from your local special educational needs advice service.
Tip : Find Help And Support
Caring for a child with ASD can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isnt ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, its essential that you take care of yourself.
Dont try to do everything on your own. You dont have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:
ADS support groups Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a childs diagnosis.
Respite care Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
Moving To A New Placefrequently Asked Questions
If you have chosen to ask the Autism Association to walk alongside you on the next part of the life journey for your son or daughter, then the information that follows may be helpful in answering any questions you may have.
The Autism Association provides services solely to people who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Therefore, the services are designed in such a way as to maximise routine and predictability for the person with Autism, to provide an environment that is conducive to the needs of the individual and a model of support that builds relationships between the support workers and the people they care for.
In recognition of the fact that people with Autism find change and transition very difficult to cope with, the staffing roster is designed to ensure that changes are kept to a minimum. Support workers are on duty for 2.5 consecutive days, so there are only three shift changes in any week. This is obviously preferable to some models of care where staff changes take place three times a day. Support workers receive specific training on Autism, but also receive even more specific training about each individual, recognising that all people with Autism are different.
Most autistic children are able to live at home with their parents and family members.
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Group Homes Create Families
Barbara Fischkin also helped create a home for her son Dan. She first shared the story of his miracle group homefunded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and run by the Nassau County Chapter of AHRC, a nonprofit grouptwo years ago. Then, she described it as a newly renovated house on Long Islanda place I call the frat house. Actually, it is a beautiful and smartly designed home that could be a model for such endeavors nationwide. And the guys, who are in their 20s and 30s, are all at the age when leaving home and family and striking out on your owneven if you need lots of staff to helpis something one yearns to do.
Two years later, she reports that Dan, now 24, and his three housemates become more like a family all the time. The guys look out for one another. Dan is still not verbal and has an aide most of the time but is making great progress with independent typing.
Explaining Seizures To Children With Epilepsy And Their Peers
Sometimes it can be difficult for children to understand what is happening when they are having a seizure. In addition, it can be very scary for their peers or friends who witness them. Autism Speaks has put together Visual Stories to explain to children how people with epilepsy are just like everyone else!
Visual Story for Peers of Children with EpilepsyIf a family member suffers from seizures, you may want to consider a medical alert bracelet that can inform first responders of the seizure disorder and any medications that the individual may take. There are a variety of options available on the internet.
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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:
Is Late Speech A Sign Of Autism
Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Speech delays are very common among children with autism, but they are also common in children without autism. There are, however, very real differences between autistic speech delays and other types of delays. In many cases, these differences are evident even to non-experts.
Significant speech delays are always a cause for some concern, but they are by no means always a sign of autism.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
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Board Games With A Twist
Teaching children manners can be a helpful way to boost social skills and explain the importance of being polite. This simple, but effective activity puts an etiquette-related twist on a simple game of chess, checkers, or mancala by requiring players to wish their opponent good luck or good game before and after they have played.
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Treatment Options For Severe Autism
Severe autism can benefit from multiple forms of treatment used collaboratively to support the person and family as a whole.
Treatment plans are devised by team made up of medical and mental health professionals. It often involves a multidisciplinary approach, and no two treatment plans are alike.
Goals for treating severe autism include:
- Maintaining the safety of the child and those around them.
- Improving communication abilities, for both verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Reducing problematic behaviors.
- Building functional life skills to aid in everyday life.
Treatment plans can include:
- Family training, counseling, and support.
Treatment plans will also include methods for managing any co-occurring disorders simultaneously.
Severe autism usually requires a lot of support. Combining medical interventions as well as behavioral therapies, speech and language therapies, and occupational therapies together can offer a comprehensive approach.
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The Trouble With Integration For Everyone
The trouble with community integration for everyone is that the autism spectrum the S in ASD is a very broad one. Some adults with ASD live normal lives in their communities with no ongoing supervision at all. Others thrive in the atmosphere of small group homes where four or five people live together, often working at suitable jobs, with the aid of one supporting staff member. But, there are more difficult cases. Here are some examples, taken from regarding the integration mandate submitted to the DOJ by VOR:
The ICFs to which VORs comments refer are much larger and better-staffed than the community-based group homes favored by CMS regulations. Group homes typically house four or five residents in an ordinary residential home with one staff member on duty. ICFs are larger, campus-like facilities in urban or rural settings. Several such facilities are described in detail inthis article from The Atlantic.
Unfortunately, CMS final rules establish mandatory requirements for the qualities of home and community-based settings that explicitly classify intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities as settings that are NOT community based . Theoretically, states can petition the CMS for exceptions if they can prove that specific ICFs do not have the qualities of an institution, but such requests are subject to a degree of heightened scrutiny that approaches outright prohibition.
Kidspeace Graham Lake In Maine
KidsPeaces Graham Lake Campus in Ellsworth is located on 12 acres on the shores of Graham Lake in Ellsworth, ME, providing 24-hour supervised care.
The Autism Spectrum Disorders program serves males and females 8-20 years old. Specialized care for children on the moderate end of the Autism Spectrum is offered in a highly structured environment.
KidsPeace Graham Lake can be reached by calling 207-667-0909 ext. 2312 or .
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What Is The Lifespan Of Someone With Autism
Autism Results In A Lower-Than- Average Life Expectancy. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder , you may have been alarmed by recent studies reporting that people with autism have an average lifespan of 36 years, compared with a 72-year life expectancy for the general population.
Social Media And Forums
There are many people with experience of autism offering support and sharing their stories on forums and social media.
You do not have to talk to others in online groups, but it can be helpful to look at what they’re saying.
A good place to start is the groups run by autism charities. But bear in mind the NHS does not monitor these sites.
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Help During A Meltdown
We tend to expect a lot from children with autism. They thrive in environments that are calm, familiar, and supportive. But we often ask them to succeed in grocery stores, airports, and classrooms.
When children with autism are overwhelmed, they can experience meltdowns. Meltdowns can involve:
- Withdrawal. The child retreats to an inner world and stops talking altogether. The child may perform repetitive actions like rocking or hand flapping to self-soothe.
- Tantrums. The child cries, screams, stomps their feet, or curls into a ball.
Parents become adept at dealing with these episodes, but always ask if you can help. You could ask a restaurant to turn down the music, for example, while a worried mother attempts to calm her child.
You can also intervene directly. Experts suggest using a gentle voice and simple commands. Tell the child, Get up, and stand next to me. If the child cant respond, stay nearby and let the meltdown blow through. When the child seems calmer, try the commands.
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Housing And Residential Support Options For Adults
All parents worry about their childrens future, but for the 19% of people with disabilities, that parental concern is even greater – especially when it comes to financial planning and the transition to adulthood. More than 300 people traveled from five different states to attend the first Special Needs Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.
The morning was dedicated to special needs financial planning and was funded through a partnership with the SunTrust Foundation as part of a regional series of workshops dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being through education and resources.
See the session below about housing and residential support options, delivered by Angela Lello, Senior Director of Public Policy for Autism Speaks:
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Day Programs For Young Adults Who Remain At Home
Easterseals offers day programs for people with autism so they can enjoy socialization and recreational opportunities and participate in the community. While people with autism who participate in Easterseals day programs might need some supervision, they need only minimal assistance with activities of daily living.
Find Services Over Age 22
While children with autism are under the age of 22, they receive a range of free programs and services through government entitlements and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act . Once they turn 22, however, those entitlements disappear. This, according to some sources, is a “services cliff” over which families fall the reality, however, is that most families can and do find significant support for their adult children. The keys to success are research, planning, flexibility, patience, and tenacity.
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The Olmstead Decision And Its Divergent Interpretations
In 1990, after the process of deinstitutionalization was well under way, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act , which recognized routine institutionalization as an impermissible form of discrimination. In 1995, two women tested the ADA, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, who sued the state of Georgia for release from the state-run Georgia Regional Hospital. After the women were voluntarily admitted for a period to be treated for mental illness and developmental disabilities, mental health professionals had judged the women ready to move to a community-based program. However, they remained confined in the institution for several years.
The case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. In 1999, in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581, the Court ruled in favor the two women, holding that Title II of the ADA prohibits the unjustified segregation of individuals with disabilities. The court explained that institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life, and that confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals, including family relations, social contacts, work options, economic independence, educational advancement, and cultural enrichment.
The decision goes on to state:
Finally, it says:
In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy was even more explicit:
Strategies To Build Confidence And Self
Whenever possible, let your child be as independent as possible. As your child makes progress, praise the progress and let the child express himself or complete a task on his own. Even if completing a task will be messier without your help, it is important to let your child attempt it. Every time he accomplishes a task or part of one, he is building a sense of self. Encourage and praise all self expression and attempts at independence.
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Springbrook Autism Program In South Carolina
Springbrook provides a behavioral health center with a well-developed program for the treatment of autism in children ages 5-21. Their therapy programs for autism rely on the latest findings and the most effective research methods, and their therapists and other staff members meet regularly to discuss the childs specific progress, goals, and challenges.
Their program is tailored to the child with autism and goal-oriented, rather than for long-term care, and works with children across the Southeast including Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina and South Carolina.
Springbrook also offers an acute stabilization program for approximately 28-days and is specifically designed to reach all levels of functioning adolescents over the age of 10 with ASD and related developmental disorders who are exhibiting behaviors that interfere with their success at home and school.
Identify The Childs Specific Needs And Abilities
The next step is to identify a childs life skills to figure out what supports will be needed to make the living situation workable. Key among the skills young adults will need to live independently is the ability to manage finances, shop, cook, clean and manage personal hygiene. Bear in mind, though, that very few typical young adults are fully prepared for life on their own. Would you worry if a neurotypical 20-year-old were living on pizza and take-out food, or wearing the same jeans twice before washing them? If not, perhaps you shouldnt worry too much about your 20-year-old with autism doing the same.
Ehlert explains this well:
Parents or guardians may have higher expectations for autistic kids than for neurotypical kids because they feel responsible for the autistic childs happiness. Its hard to allow autistic children to fail. In some ways, its easier to manage failure for neurotypical kids because parents or guardians feel its part of the learning process whereas they often want to protect their children with autism from failure. Its very hard to know how far you go to protect your loved one with autism. Sometimes failures might set off behaviors, or it may be too difficult to recover from failure. Usually, parents or guardians of a teen understand what that child needs.
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Some Children Thrive When Given Structured Hands
Many children I have worked with or have observed, did very well when given a hands-on/visual activity. Examples include playing a computer game, sorting objects by color or object type completing a puzzle, constructing a model car, tracing or coloring in a picture, etc. As another example, some teachers of children with autism teach academic skills through sorting tasks. For instance, an activity about learning colors would require the child to put all the yellow chips in a yellow cup, all the blue chips in a blue cup, etc. Keeping a child focused with an activity they do well at is a great way to encourage calm behavior. However, if the child is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated from the activity, allow a break or a change in the task.