Did you know that 80% of individuals diagnosed with ASD are under the age of 18? 90% of young adults with ASD are not employed or are underemployed. 34% of ASD young adults out of high school have NO engagement in the community, including work, career counseling, further education, and vocational training.
40% receive no services post high school education, including case management, mental health support, medical and speech.
The frustration of parents and educators continues to increase.
Over and over, I have heard parents and educators frustrated with an academic model which does not prepare students for real life. Statistics like those above prove what parents already know. Even the brightest student on the spectrum does not receive the social and life skills education that he or she needs to succeed in living and independent and rewarding life.
Furthermore, the manner in which we “accommodate” students on the spectrum so that they may pass through school, especially high school, is not helpful towards the goal of a life well lived. Our system of resource rooms, aides and special day classes are costly and only moderately effective.
It is the rare spectrum student who graduates from high school never having been bullied, misunderstood, or judged by others. More frequently, students exit high school with co-morbid issues like anxiety and depression.
We can, and must, do better.