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August 14 , 2010

How to Keep America's Autism Services from Killing Your Child


Tom explains how America's autism services are broken. The current system is about to be overthrown by autistic teens who age out of the education system into a mental health service field that is inadequate to meet your child's social needs. Tom explains how America not being prepared to deal with the autistic population will bankrupt America and could end up killing your child with autism.

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Tom explains how our country will be facing a national emergency crisis within a few years unless politicians act and make changes to the current healthcare system. There are many things that people need in life that function as basic human needs. Food and shelter are at the top of the list of basic human needs that come to mind. Unless you are a parent to a child with autism or a person with autism you do not fully understand or comprehend that social needs are at the very top of that list right next to the need for food and shelter.

Tom speaks of the importance of social skills coaching in this book and teaches you how you can better prepare your children for life as an adult on the autism spectrum. The goal is not necessarily to worry about your child's academic skills as they are often quite successful when it comes to education and working. The real obstacle and goal that you will be faced with is helping your children with social situations that arise in their lifetime.

It is true that good social skills will help your child accent his or her excellent academic skills and working skills. Tom explains how the best social skills coaches are often coaches that no nothing about autism. The world does not adapt to us we as people with autism must adopt to the rest of the world. Therefore the goal should not be teaching a person with autism how to live with autism, it should be teaching them how to learn social skills. We are not teaching them about autism we are teaching them about social skills.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"Every day I see autistic people who would be great in many career fields but sadly they do not have the social skills to be able to follow work procedures and work place rules. I see many high-functioning autistic adults who would make outstanding employees who do not understand the social nuances and unwritten rules that need to be followed both outside and inside of the work place.

Then there are those of us who are still somewhat high-functioning that are trying to find our way. While we are so intelligent and can solve many equations that our neurotypical peers could not ever even begin to solve, we struggle with something as simple as walking across a street and looking both ways before we begin to walk. We do not have the basic life skills that will allow us to put ourselves in positions where we can get to work without relying on someone else in our family or a service that can help get us to work safely and on time.

America does not seem to get autism and it seems like the non-profit autism sector also does not understand how the social skills issue for adults with autism is going to have a crippling effect on our nation’s economy within the next few years. It is scary to think of how many intelligent minds are going to be wasted because we simply did not provide the social skills and social tools necessary to be able to navigate the social world.

You can say social skills are not medically necessary all you want and physically speaking that is true. However, friendship making and forming social relationships in the work place is quite necessary in order to be successful in employment and in life."

Tom hopes you enjoy his insights and that you are able to help prepare your child for the challenges that autism presents across the lifespan. Tom has asperger's syndrome and hopes to help those like him be successful at life.

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