In our culture, autism spectrum disorder is often thought of as a childhood condition, with public attention 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 at 1 in 68, we must accommodate the pressing need for supports and programs for people on the spectrum across the lifespan.
Like everyone else, people with autism move through significant life changes. Their quality of life depends not only on the foundation provided in childhood, but also on ongoing supports that are specific to their educational, medical, social, recreational, family and employment needs.
The Autism Society supports people with autism and their families through three critical stages of life: