Parents of autistic children worry about adulthood - Fox 2 News Headlines

FOX Medical Team

Parents of autistic children worry about adulthood

Posted: Updated:

It's a question thousands of Georgia parents face who have children with autism: what do you do when your child is no longer a child anymore?  

Navigating adulthood is difficult enough for a lot of people. For families of someone with Autism there are all kinds of question: will they be able to find a job? Where will they live?  What kind of programs are out there to help adults with autism.

And finding answers isn't easy.

Cooking is a big part of Jennifer Thompson's morning routine.

But if you sit down and spend some time with Jennifer, you'll realize that the toughest part of that routine is not what goes on in the kitchen, but her ability to communicate.

"At an early age I knew Jennifer had differences. Her development was fine up until 2 years old she wasn't responding to her name or sounds," said Leslie Thompson, Jennifer's mother.

Leslie said that she had mixed emotions when Jennifer was first diagnosed as autistic.

"It seemed like autism back then was a taboo term because parents were nervous when they heard that term," Leslie said.

As Jennifer got older, Leslie said that she began to worry about the quality of life she would have.

"I felt like I was the only one out here with that," Leslie said.  "I was afraid and I'm a Christian and I should not have been afraid and I was afraid."

Leslie is not alone.  In this coming decade, 500,0000 young, autistic children will turn 21, the age at which federally mandated services stop being provided. Add to that a staggering 85 percent unemployment rate for young adults with autism and you can understand why many families are worried.

For many, the reality is that it will be tough road ahead.

Deborah Griffin and her son, Jonathan, know that reality all too well. Finding employment for an autistic adult unless you have connections is difficult, Deborah said.

Jonathan's only income is social security and the family has to wait two years just to get it.

There are currently 260,000 people on a waiting list for housing support. Those who are on social security get about $670 worth.

There are support programs available for families on young adults on the autism spectrum. The challenge is finding those resources. Autism Speaks has resource information for young adults.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • DeKalb teen's dream-come-true: new high-tech leg helps her walk effortlessly

    DeKalb teen's dream-come-true: new high-tech leg helps her walk effortlessly

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:57:22 GMT
    In a lot of ways, Jasmine Holliday is a pretty typical 15-year old, hanging out in her Ellenwood bedroom with her pocket pit bull terrier and best friend Coco.
    In a lot of ways, Jasmine Holliday is a pretty typical 15-year old, hanging out in her Ellenwood bedroom with her pocket pit bull terrier and best friend Coco.
  • FOX Medical Team

    Is it safe to kiss your pet?

    Is it safe to kiss your pet?

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:24:46 GMT
    If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been there. You lean down to say hello and, before you know it, your dog has planted a big wet one right on your mouth.But a UGA Vet says that “kiss” may come with a downside.
    If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been there. You lean down to say hello and, before you know it, your dog has planted a big wet one right on your mouth.But a UGA Vet says that “kiss” may come with a downside.
  • Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:42:55 GMT
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices