Reporting John Ostapkovich
By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thousands of young people on the Autism Spectrum are entering their late teens and early twenties with few programs to help them adjust to the adult world.
Although Autism symptoms vary widely, some on the spectrum can learn to function out in the world, but there are some concerns.
Dr. James Connell, clinical director of the Drexel Autism Institute, ”there are very few services for the adult ASD population.”
Psychologist Robert Naseef says, half his practice is autism-related, describes a Catch-22 of treatment.
“Those with above-average IQ’s have the least opportunities, which seems counter-intuitive but it’s the way it is because of their social challenges,” Naseef said.
Drexel runs a program, now with about 40 students, designed to overcome those challenges.
Dr. Connell says, ”the goal would be to, at the end of four or five years, a significant amount of independence, such that moving out into the workplace becomes much more possible.”
Dr. Naseef says autism services are federally required up to age 22 but funding often lags.