According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of children diagnosed with autism has increased from 1 in 150 in 2000 to approximately 1 in 59 in 2014. The increase in the rate of diagnosis is due to combination of factors including better evaluation practices and increased public awareness. As more cases of autism are diagnosed the long term need for care services increases. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act people with disabilities, including autism, qualify for free public education and care until the age of twenty-one.
While most children qualify for care services within the public school system, those benefits do not provide a long term care plan. The families and primary caregivers of individuals with autism must develop a plan for furthering care, employment, or education. Programs exist to assist adults with autism, but they are often expensive and require an extensive application process. Government resources are available to help pay for these programs, but there is no central entity that oversees all available resources. To acquire benefits, caregivers must apply for resources from a variety of organizations like Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other agencies. The process of acquiring all the necessary resources can be hard to navigate.
At Hope Trust, we are creating solutions to these problems. We develop personalized care plans and make available a team of experts that assist families struggling to navigate the maze of resources available to people with special needs, autism included. Not only are we developing custom care plans, we are also helping families plan for a time in the future when adults with special needs may not have their parents to rely on.