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Sunday, October 20, 2013

ASD Adults Navigating Social Services

In Murfreesboro, Tennsessee, Nancy De Gennaro writes at The Daily News Journal:
“There really isn’t anybody supporting adults (with autism). ... It is a very lonely, isolated journey to make,” says Dena Gassner, a licensed master social worker and award-winning autism advocate from Nashville who has helped hundreds of adults with ASD through the Center for Understanding, which she founded in 2005.
Systems are so complex. One of the most unsupported systems to try to navigate is Social Security,” Gassner says. “It’s like a game you have to play. But they don’t tell you what information you’re supposed to have. It’s like we’re making rules up as we go.”

For instance, one of the questions on the SSI application gives three lines to explain how a disability impairs ability to work. Someone with ASD may get bogged down in trying to sum up years in three lines and be unable to complete the form, or they may think three lines of information is sufficient.