Autism Awareness 2019

Written by: Lisa Riotto

Once again on April 2nd, AVS Technology participated in World Autism Awareness Day.  The goal of “Light it up Blue” is not only to help promote understanding and acceptance of those with autism, but to provide support for their families.  According to the CDC, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Per AutismNJ.org, “New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation: 1 in 34 children, or 3% of 8-year-old children.”  If the current rate of autism continues, by 2032, 1 in 2 children born will be on the spectrum.

As a parent of an adult with autism, I find myself with many of the same concerns as when she was diagnosed.  What happens now?  How do I ensure that she continues to get the assistance she needs?  What will happen when I am gone?  But there have also many changes that need to be addressed.  She’s aging out of the school system and will need to be placed in a program that meets her needs and will hopefully allow her to have a part time job.  Many post-21 programs have a 2-year waiting list, do not allow outside jobs, or simply do not fit her needs.  Finding an appropriate place with availability is very stressful on the family and may take months. 

During the month of April, please take some time and reach out to friends and families who may be struggling or even just need someone to reassure them that all will be ok.  If they need resources, Autism Speaks and Autism Support provide information worldwide.  In northern NJ, the Bergen Cape has workshops and support groups available at no charge.  Finding the right supports makes all the difference.