Autism Health Services Beyond Age 21

Autism is a disorder that will affect the person for all their life. While a child with autism is still young, there are a number of groups and agencies that are there to help guide him or her to the best quality of independent living available. Unfortunately, once the person with autism hits 21, a lot of this help goes away. There are ways to make sure your loved one has a good quality of life and is allowed the freedom to be on his or her own as much as possible.

Living with Family

An autistic person is not mentally slow, they just look at the world differently and prefer to avoid interacting with it outside of their own sphere. The problem is there is a tendency to neglect some parts of self- care and to overdo other areas. An example might be that the person will spend 2 hours brushing their teeth and yet not bothering to put on clean clothes. Living with a family member keeps them in a familiar sphere and they handle it better; change is not good for someone with autism, they just do not handle it well. Having someone around who will make sure that the person is not sitting in a corner all day alone and is up and functioning is the goal in most cases. A family member who is willing to do this will be a big help.

Having a Home Health Aide

Having a home health aide would be similar to living with family, but the patient could live alone and have an aide come over daily to help with different things. The aide would make sure the person was safe and had everything needed for a normal life. In most cases, the aide would only step in when something was wrong, otherwise letting life go on for the person. Though some families do choose this option they may find that a live in home health aide is another viable option as well.

A Group Home or Assisted Living

Often, the patient has grown enough by the time he or she is 21 to be able to go through daily life fairly normally. There will be times, however, when there are problems. Living in a group home gives a feeling of independence, and at the same time provides safety. It is the same with an assisted living situation. There is always someone there should it be needed.

Keeping Up with Treatment

The treatment for someone with autism is a behavioral treatment. It is something that must be maintained and kept up with for it to be effective. The patient should qualify for state medical insurance to include any psychological treatment required.

With the proper treatment and care, someone with autism can live a full life. While it is highly unlikely he or she will develop much, if any, outside socialization on their own, that doesn’t mean that they are not content with their life and how they live it. Keep them safe and let them go at their own rate and it will all be good.

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