Providing help, hope, and answers to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Posted on April 1st, 2016 by Beth
World Autism Awareness Day is tomorrow, April 2, 2016.
I’m marking the occasion a day early to let you know about the Autism Spectrum Disorder services and treatments Easter Seals makes available to families living with ASD. A number of wonderful organizations research and study the cause and cure for ASD — Easter Seals stands out as the nation’s leading provider of services and support for children and adults living with ASD.
Our Living with Autism Study is one example. That study provided us with quantifiable information about the services and supports that families living with ASD desperately need. Parents of children with ASD are struggling with a host of worries that impact every aspect of their lives. They are particularly concerned that their family will lack the life-long supports needed to address the significant challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Results of the study revealed parents raising children with ASD were very concerned about the future independence of their children. In fact, they were far more concerned than parents of typically developing children — nearly 80 percent said they were extremely or very concerned about their children’s independence as an adult, compared to only 32 percent of parents of typically developing children. This was especially true when it came to their financial independence, quality of life, social and interpersonal connections, and employment and housing opportunities — and with good reason.
The study quantified what Easter Seals has heard anecdotally over the years. The one consistent message Easter Seals hears from the families we serve — after the initial apprehension and anxiety of learning their child has ASD — is an overwhelming concern about the life-long supports their child with ASD may need.
More than a generation ago, Easter Seals was front and center during the polio epidemic, working tirelessly to help children and adults with polio gain the skills necessary to live independently. And now, Easter Seals is working internationally to provide help, hope and answers to families living with ASD today by delivering personalized services and treatments, as well as advocating with government to encourage financing for research and improved access to services and supports for people with ASD.
Every family living with a person who has ASD faces unique challenges. Early detection and intervention are the essential first steps. There is an urgent need for increased funding and services — especially for adults with ASD.
We want to help change all of this and make a difference for families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder today. Help us change the lives of people living with ASD by becoming a volunteer or a donor. To learn more about autism, read the findings of the Easter Seals Living with Autism Study, and find services at an Easter Seals near you.