We are the parents of autistic teenagers bound by disability of children at the beginning, and friendship after years of a common path and experience.
From the very moment of diagnosis we focused on scientific methods of rehabilitation. For many years, they are under the care of Polish Association of Behavioural Therapy, which is a branch of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in Poland. Intensive care in a kindergarten run by the Association yielded results but still not big enough to allow our children starting learning at school with a group of peers.
In 2013, already as members of the Board of the Polish Association of Behavioral Therapy, we took an active part in the creation of Private Special Schools UMIEM, facility in which the leading method of treatment is behavioral therapy, and with the children after kindergarten, have a chance to continue their education.
Still, we ask ourselves the question: what next? How will our children live when they finish school stage? What will be their fate when we are gone?
We started to look more closely at the situation of adults with autism in Poland. With horror it occurred to us that it is very worrying. After leaving school they receive a small annuity. After death of their parents or caregivers they go to the state social welfare homes in which the number of patients often exceeds a hundred people. Placing autistic person in such a house sentens him to getting ever-larger doses of anxiolytic and antidepressant. Nobody wants this future for their child.
Looking at the systems of care for adults with autism in the United States and in Western Europe, we know that the future can be different.
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