As they are closeted away in their homes, with them are their Caregivers. The Caregivers now have a 24 hour position, with no relief in sight. As time passes, these Caregivers become overwhelmed, depressed and their health declines. I want this to be a call for assistance from our State and Federal Legislators. By keeping these young adults at home, as opposed to placing them in group homes, Caregivers are saving the government a substantial amount of money (group homes in Maine are in small supply and have waiting lists).
The least we can do is help these Caregivers out by giving them a well-earned break. In Maine we have a Respite program for parents of children with Autism. What we need is an Adult Respite program to help the families and guardians of Autistic adults still living at home. Call your Legislators, Senators and Congressmen, and tell them that these people need help. In case you need the contact information, I am including the names and numbed
Wilson, Augusta (R (207) 469-5295 Call today, New Sharon, Maine Mother of Two Adults with Autism Part II: Autistic Adult Respite The number of people in the State of Maine has soared exponentially in the last 3 decades. Children diagnosed with Autism in the early sass’s are now adults. Most of these young adults are being cared for at home. In Maine there is very little financial, emotional or physical support for Autistic Adults and their Caregivers. The results of this are Caregivers who are physically and emotionally overwhelmed, and Autistic adults who lose social skills and become more emotionally inhibited.
A Respite Program for families with Autistic adults is needed now more than ever. Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (SAD), Aspirer syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder- not otherwise specified (PDP-NO’S) are all different terms for disorders in he same basic group: the Autism Spectrum (Speaks, 2013). The Autism Spectrum is a vast array of brain disorders, causing mental, developmental and, occasionally, physical delays. In 1984 there were about 40 people identified as having Autism in Maine (DASH, 2009). In 2009, 1 in every 150 children were diagnosed with Autism in this state.
According to Increase claims and School Special Education data, the numbers of people who are within the Autism Spectrum in Maine have increased approximately 26% since 2006. Increase payment data indicates that the number f people within the Autism Spectrum who receive Increase funded services has increased by 27% within Just the last two years and 380% over the last eight years. Increase claims data shows that there has been an increase in the number of people within diagnosed with a form of Autism in almost every age group in every county in Maine.
As the Autism population in Maine has grown, many of the children diagnosed in the late sass’s and early sass’s have become adults. Upon finishing high school, there is an incredible shortage of programs for these young adults. Many Autistic adults still live at home, and with them, closeted away from society, are their Caregivers. The Caregivers now have a 24 hour position, with no relief in sight. As time passes, the stress levels often become higher. Marriages often break up from the emotional toll (Solomon & Chunk, 2012) There are some families that remain strong having a child or children with Autism.
Those families are usually receiving some kind of emotional support through therapy. Couples therapy has proven to be very effective. Many Caregivers do not have the time, finances, or an educated errors to stay with their Autistic adult children to explore therapy. They become overwhelmed, depressed, their health declines. Often, due to the severity of the disabilities of the one being cared for, it is impossible for caregivers to work outside the home. They lose income, their relationships fail and they start to resent the Autistic adult they are caring for. (Lund, 2010) These are the families that fall apart.
These are the people that would benefit most from Autistic Adult Respite Care. It should be noted that there are some families who see Respite care as more of a aisle than a help. You have to let strangers into your home, and leave your loved one with this stranger. The cared for Person is not going to appreciate being left with a stranger, and the Caregiver spends their allotted Respite time worrying about what is going on at home. A solution to that is to have the Respite provider come in and train in your household before they are left alone with your loved one.
The problem with that is the Respite provider would need to be paid for this, so you would have to use your allotted Respite time for training or pay them out of pocket, which most implies can’t afford. Yet another consideration is that a short amount of time away will not really help the Caregiver overcome the physical and emotional drain over a long period of time. Maine needs a program that provides regular periods of time to help both the Caregiver to not be overwhelmed, as well as structure and an enriched social setting to the Autistic adult.
Such a program is incredibly hard to fund financially because the needs of every household are different: some need Adult Day Care, some need overnight Respite, or in-home Respite for Just an hour or so per day, r a combination of these. Keeping these young adults at home is saving the government a substantial amount of money, as opposed to placing them in group homes (group homes in Maine are in small supply and have waiting lists). The least we can do is help these Caregivers out by giving them a well-earned break.
An Adult Respite program could potentially save the State of Maine money by reducing the healthcare costs of Caregivers derived from stress, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and heart ailments. The number of children within the Autism Spectrum is still increasing every day. Every day more adults with Autism enter our society. An Autistic Adult Respite program is a crucial step we must take to service their needs and the needs of their Caregivers. References Cafeteria, W. , McGraw, K. , Mohammedanize, S. Ohio Dept. Of Aging, (2005).