The Los Angeles Times recently ran a four-part series on autism. Rates of autism have exploded in recent years, but researchers have wondered whether the rate may be the same as it always has been only people have been left undiagnosed. The final installment looked into how many adults may be living with autism that were never diagnosed.
Autism affects people's social behavior and ability to interact with others and to complete daily tasks or to find and hold down a job. A person can be anywhere on the autism spectrum. A person who is unable to work because of their autism symptoms may need to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
The article profiles some with severe autism who were never diagnosed and were committed to a mental institution when they were a child to spend their life there. Others were profiled who had mild autism or Asperger's syndrome and may have spent their life working and even married, but always struggled socially.
Still others were in the middle and spent their lives living with their parents and being supported by them. These Baby Boomers with autism, however, will be in need of social services when their parents pass away.
The next post will continue to discuss this issue.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Autism hidden in plain sight," Alan Zarembo, Dec. 16, 2011
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