KCPW Presents: “Autism Grows Up” (4/19/19)

Image by: Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio
Freddie Topete at Adult Transition Program

2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award winning one-hour documentary explores what’s happening twenty years after a sharp rise in autism rates. Thousands of children are aging out of special education. Each one enters adulthood with a unique combination of social deficits that promises a challenging life, even with support. Is the adult world ready for them?

In the 1990s autism rates around the US began to rise. Each year since then thousands of California children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Now, these children are “aging out” of school-based special education programs.

They are the first generation of adults with autism spectrum disorders to be diagnosed early enough to participate in these programs for most of their school years. Once they turn 22, they’re no longer eligible. It will be left to them and their families to find the employment, education, housing and other services they need to live as independently as possible for the rest of their lives. Each of them enters adulthood with a unique combination of social, behavioral and communication deficits that promises an unusually challenging life. Depending on the severity of the disorder, they may or may not be able to live independently, find a job, go to college, date or marry.

The View From Here: Autism Grows Up follows four adults with autism who are aiming for a life of choice and opportunity.

This special will air on Friday April 19th at 10 AM and 8 PM here on 88.3 FM KCPW.