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Bleak employment rates for young autistic adults

Autism is often related to severe disabilities that can affect the ability to work. According to a recent report, one in three adults with autism have no paid job experience, or advanced education nearly seven years after graduation. This poses a serious problem to the autistic community as well as their families who are strapped with the financial burden of supporting their adult children. Families in California with children who suffer from autism may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

Rates of employment and education for those suffering from autism are much lower than those who have other disabilities, including those are mentally disabled. Many autistic children are hard-working and have very good mechanical skills, but they can also suffer from challenges in reading or speaking. They may have difficulties understanding social cues or body language, which can make others uncomfortable.

In the next decade there will be half a million autistic children reaching adulthood. This keeps many parents worried about their children ever finding employment or becoming self-sufficient. Government data suggests that 1 in 88 children have autism, and the rates may be rising.

At least one special education policy specialist suggests that children with autism need better support as they transition into adulthood. Job training and other services in public schools, including teaching social cues, could make these students more employable.

The very harsh reality remains that many of these children; especially those with severe disabilities will not be able to financially support themselves and may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

Source: USA Today, "1 in 3 autistic young adults lack jobs, education," May 14, 2012

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