When a person diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum reaches age 21, mandated state and federal services end. Mary Lloyd Moore, Director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU, says this has been compared to falling off a cliff.
Dr. Moore quoted a colleague, Denise Resnick: “As the school bus stops coming, families and communities are faced with Autism’s perfect storm: an increasing population of special needs adults, dwindling government resources, individuals losing their skills, few housing options and a lot of fear for what happens next.”
This need is the impetus for an upcoming pilot project called the Next Generation Initiative, which is a logical extension of services the CEC provides for individuals over age 21 diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and their families.
Dr. Moore announced the Next Generation Initiative during a celebration of Autism After 21 Day and a recognition of Kentucky Rep. Jim DeCesare, whose resolution declaring April 21 as Autism After 21 Day in Kentucky was passed by the state House of Representatives.
Since 2006, the CEC has strived to support families and their children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum from age 2 to high school. In addition, the Kelly Autism Program’s Post-Secondary Program supports academically qualified students as they attend WKU.
Read the full story: WKU CEC announces Next Generation Initiative for those on Autism Spectrum over age 21
Contact: Mary Lloyd Moore, (270) 745-2183