Autism: Aging Out
Autism: Aging Out travels across Pennsylvania to show the successes and challenges individuals and families face when a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder turns 21 and navigates new pathways to joining the workforce; living situations; health and wellness; and social engagement.
We recognize that individuals and families are unique in how they choose to refer to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, using either “person-first” language or “identity-first” language. To be as inclusive and respectful as possible, this documentary and web-extras use both kinds of references.
Autism: Aging Out was produced with sensitivity to sensory processing issues experienced by some people with autism. Limited lighting and other production equipment was used in the making of this program.
Watch the Documentary:
One in three people with Autism Spectrum Disorder report feeling socially isolated, according to a study by the National Center for Special Education Research. Pittsburgh area teen Ava Farrell shares her experiences as someone living with autism. Dr. Gary Swanson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Allegheny Health Network, explains how the disorder can create social, behavioral, and communications difficulties throughout life. Lu Randall, president of Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, discusses how neurotypical people can promote inclusion by better understanding ASD, and building better listening skills.
Watch "Autism: Aging Out: Isolation and Inclusion"
Autism: Aging Out Web Extras
Autism & Disease Burden
Gary Swanson, MD, a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist with Allegheny Health Network, explains autism and its disease burden, which is the impact of a health problem as measured by financial cost, mortality, morbidity, or other indicators that affect not just an individual but others in the family and community.
Autism & Co-Existing Mental Health Issues
Approximately 70% of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder also have a co-existing mental health issue. Gary Swanson, MD, a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist with Allegheny Health Network, discusses mental issues he sees most commonly in patients; and, he provides insights into how to speak to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder to understand the diagnosis and mental health concerns.
What is Transition Planning?
Transition planning is a “coordinated set of activities” that help students move from school into post-school activities (IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 20 U.S.C. §1401 Link
Issues to Consider for Transition Planning
Transition planning is a “coordinated set of activities” that help students move from school into post-school activities (20 U.S.C. §1401). Consider the “checklist” for transitioning planning and hear who is at increased risk for determining services, explained by Nancy Murray of Achieva.
How Autism Spectrum Disorder Affects the Brain
Lu Randall, President of Autism Connection of PA, uses a simple prop to demonstrate how autism affects the brain; and, she explores the role of advocacy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who cannot always advocate for themselves due to communication and social impairments.
Autism and Health & Social Inequities
Lu Randall, President of Autism Connection of PA, discusses misconceptions about autism perpetuated by popular media; and, she explains the more common realities faced by individuals and families with a loved one with Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially people of color and those living in underserved communities.
Autism & the Minority Community
Jamie Upshaw is the Founder & Executive Director of Autism Urban Connections Inc. She’s also the parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Learn about barriers and challenges families in the African American community face as they search for services in a system troubled by bias and inequities.
Autism & the Importance of Cultural Competency
Jamie Upshaw is the Founder & Executive Director of Autism Urban Connections Inc. She’s also the parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Explore unique cultural considerations for families of color as they support their loved ones with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
One Family’s Experience with Transition Plans & Aging Out
Transition planning is a “coordinated set of activities” that help students move from school into post-school activities (20 U.S.C. §1401). A parent of an adult daughter with ASD shares her experiences in starting the transition process early, and advocating for her child’s plans for her future when she “aged out” of school-based services.
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LEARN ABOUT THE MEDICAID HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES WAIVERS FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
FIND RESOURCES AND SUPPORT GROUPS IN YOUR AREA
AUTISM & DISABILITY RESOURCES AND ADVOCACY; and ORGANIZATIONS APPEARING IN AUTISM: AGING OUT
AUTISM RESOURCES FOR MINORITIES AND UNDER-SERVED COMMUNITIES
AUTISM URBAN CONNECTION – The first and only African American, minority, family-focused Autism 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
THE COLOR OF AUTISM FOUNDATION – Connecting families to culturally competent support
CENTER FOR AUTISM RESEARCH & TREATMENT: EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION RESOURCES - Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
U.S. Dept of Education – Protecting Students with Disabilities
ADA National Network Information, Guidance, and Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act – Disability Rights Laws
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders - Economic Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Pediatrics - Official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics - Autism Spectrum Disorders and Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity: A Population-Based Study
LEARN ABOUT CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDIES FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
FIND A CLINICAL TRIAL OR RESEARCH STUDY ON AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER - US Department of Health and Human Services
Additional Video Resources
FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY HIGHMARK BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD.