Innovation Showcase 2013 / Lauren Betesh
Lauren Betesh/ @agingoutfilm
A story about autism that focuses on a current tension: what happens at the age of 21, when high school programs end for most autistic individuals? Where do they go? What is life like as an adult? Does the burden of care fall on parents? Do these adults ever reach full independence?
These questions are highlighted through three main subjects: Andrew Roger, an 18 year-old high school student, living home with his single mother in Fair Lawn, NJ, Danny Mulvaney, a 25 year-old adult living in a group home in Baldwin, NY, and Lyndon Rochin, a 62 year-old adult living alone in a Manhattan apartment. The caregivers of these three men also play important roles in defining the issues, as does Temple Grandin, a famous high-functioning autistic.
The structures in place to care for autistic youth are robust through high school, however, the options beyond grow far more limited. My goal is to highlight this shortage and propose the question of how to care for a growing population of autistic adults.