Autism through the Lifespan

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In our mainstream culture, autism is often thought of as a childhood condition. This is because until very recently, public attention has been focused primarily on children and the importance of early detection and intervention. However, autism is a lifelong condition, and the available, necessary supports and treatments change as people on the spectrum move through major life phases. With the rising diagnostic rate of 1 in 68, and estimates that this trend will continue, it is important that we anticipate the pressing need for supports and programs for people on the spectrum across the lifespan.

Like nondisabled individuals , people with autism move through significant life changes. Their quality of life depends not only upon the foundation that is provided in childhood, but also on ongoing supports that are specific to the educational, medical, social, recreational, family and employment needs of the individual.

The Autism Society supports individuals with autism and their families through three critical stages of life.

Early Detection & Intervention
The Autism Society promotes early identification and access to effective treatments before age 3. Early diagnosis of autism reduces lifetime care costs by two-thirds.

Building a Strong Foundation from Childhood Through Adolescence
The Autism Society helps parents and caregivers build education and treatment programs, so that all children and adolescents can reach their fullest potential.

A Life of Happiness and Dignity
The Autism Society works to ensure that every adult with autism has access to services and supports that maximize independence and secure the highest quality of life.