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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autistic Adults: Health Care and Employment

Dr. Christopher Hanks writes at LiveScience:
Once patients move away from their pediatricians, they struggle. These patients often miss out on important check-ups, immunizations and cancer screenings. It's also important to note that without specialized care, these individuals can have a hard time transitioning into an intimidating world.

Many teens with ASD struggle to obtain meaningful vocational or educational opportunities after they've finished high school, which provides a structured environment and allows for social interactions and continual development. Unless these young adults are employed or enrolled in an educational program, most spend too much time alone or isolated, with little or no social interaction. When this happens, they often regress and lose some of the skills they previously developed.
These patients deserve physicians who understand their needs and will work with them to overcome the challenges associated with becoming an adult who has an illness that will impact their entire life.

That's what we're striving to do at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where we recently opened one of the only clinics in the country to care for adults with ASD. Here at the Center for Autism Services and Transition (CAST), we provide care coordination, along with primary and specialty care services for patients. We offer access to diagnostic testing, counseling services, therapy, dental care, nutrition and other resources. Our goal is to give new hope to these patients, and to connect them with medical experts who truly understand their needs so they can continue to grow and succeed.
A release from the Labor Department:
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the establishment of a National Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities. The purpose of the committee is to study and provide recommendations to the secretary of labor on ways to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, the use of the certificate program carried out under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 214(c)) and ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates.

The creation of the committee is mandated by the recent passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, signed July 22. WIOA strengthens the public workforce system and the partnerships that sustain it by unifying and streamlining services to better serve job seekers. It will improve accountability and transparency within the system. WIOA also builds closer ties among key workforce partners: business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges, nonprofits, and state and local officials. And it addresses the needs of veterans, the long-term unemployed, individuals with disabilities and of other populations facing unique economic challenges.