An estimated 5,437,988 (2.21%) adults in the United States have ASD
Gaithersburg, MD, May 15, 2020 –(PR.com)– The release of new CDC estimates that 1 in 45 adults are on the autism spectrum coincides with the announcement of a groundbreaking report to define and segment housing opportunities for autistic adults and others with neurodiversities called A Place in the World.
“As an adult autism advocate for over 15 years, I am thrilled to see the CDC complete a survey that for the first time provides an estimate based on data,” stated Jalynn Prince, co-founder of MHAF, the first autism awareness and advocacy organization dedicated to autism in adulthood in the United States. Prince went on to say, “this historic announcement means we can effectively advocate for policy in support of over 5.4 million adults with autism in the US based on scientific data and in need of appropriate support.” This represents a 19.5% increase in the number of adults with autism (from 1.85% of the population to now 2.21%) living in the US.
Despite investment of billions of dollars in research, early diagnosis, interventions, and education, autistic adults graduate high school “onto the couch.” Most live with family, are unemployed or underemployed, and socially isolated. Additionally, because autistic adults do not necessarily have an intellectual disability, many are often deemed “not disabled enough” and disqualified from getting Medicaid-funded support services like supported employment to maintain a job or direct support from people who can help them live independently.
Time is running out on many of the 5.4 million autistic adults who live in their family home and have been largely supported by their aging parent caregivers.
Without access to affordable housing in their community, or the support to live in their own home, autistic adults are at high risk of homelessness and/or displacement from their community and will most likely be “placed in the next empty bed” of a group home or adult foster care that could be hundreds of miles away from their hometown.
Desiree Kameka, Director of the Autism Housing Network, stated, “We know from the contacts made through our website that there is a large percentage of autistic adults already experiencing homelessness. Due to social and communication impairments, many can’t get past an in-person job interview and thus they can’t afford housing. They experience crisis when their parents pass away as they are left without support with the upkeep of everyday life. They often fall victim to mate-crime or predatory/abusive relationships.” The A Place in the World study does, however, lay the groundwork for a very hopeful outlook for the future, “Local innovators, largely stemming from concerned families (like us here @ Neuro Diverse Living), are creating amazing supportive housing solutions by combining smart-home technology, intentional sensory-friendly design strategies, and built-in supports with rent.
Residential opportunities are evolving. It is time to update the language to reflect the wide array of options emerging so we can measure outcomes effectively and people can find their Place in the World,” stated Kameka.
The Neuro Diverse Living Difference
At Neuro Diverse Living, we believe that this is a problem worth solving. That’s why we’re throwing everything we have at this problem until we’re able to finalize a viable living solution for the increasing number of adults with autism. Through our new model of safe and sustainable smart-home enabled personal care homes, we believe that we can meet this challenge head-on. If you’re interested in learning more about what we have planned, continue reading this series.