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Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism

This is a blog post by Shelley Ourian, a young woman who participated on the stakeholder panel during the Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism Congressional Briefing last July in Washington, D.C.

It’s been a year since I was invited to participate in the Congressional Briefing sponsored by Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) in Washington, DC last July. I was a part of the Stakeholder Panel, along with a few other individuals living with autism and their family members. Looking back on the whole experience, I felt very humbled to be in the presence of many brave individuals, dedicated to make people more aware of the need for more funded programs for adults living with autism. The moderator, Linda Fiddle, founder of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, was such a wonderful addition to the Briefing. It was amazing how she took so much time to get to know all of us individuals and to guide us through the process of advocating for ourselves and for everyone with everyday challenges. If I could something like this all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat!

What I hope for in the future is for there to continue to be a positively growing progress in funding for programs for adults living with autism throughout the United States. I also hope for the neurotypical population to see those adults as equals…as human beings who can bring their own abilities and contributions to society.

To view the summary of the AFAA Congressional Briefing, visit the AFAA website at www.afaa-us.org.

  1. July 13, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I love hearing about anything or anyone helping Autistic Adults or children. My son is being helped and he’s only 4 years old. Time flies and we’re not having fun. Soon he will be in elementary school and even with the help, I fear he’s going to get picked on and have a rough childhood. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe by focusing on Adults as well as children, we can find a cure for this. John Gibason

    • Judy Schaefer
      July 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      It’s not grade school that you have to worry about, it’s when he reaches high school. My son went through hell in high school and had to be transferred to a special school, which did not challenge him at all. That was several years ago. A lot more is being done now to help these kids succeed. Good luck and keep the faith.

  2. Joe Cidras
    July 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I hope it pulls through because I have a step son that 26 years old and autistic and I can’t find anything for him… We go to places that people tells us where to go then they all say the same thing..

  3. Patricia Elaine Chandler
    July 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Hello, I am So grateful to You and I do not even know you, Yet :o).

    I have High Fucntioning Autism and ESP and I am building a National Autism Foundation for America, right from my Home in Brooklyn, NY. I Am Building it for Me, You and the 1.47 Billion People, especially the Children, who are Living Autistic, Today! YoU inspire to Continue Fighting the Good Fight! Bless You.

  4. Adam Vogel
    July 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Congrads on their efforts. I wish they could provide some job opportunities with disabilities. As I have mentioned in a preivous comment, I represent a lot of people with disabilities who are struggling to find a job. Can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since I graduated the second time at UW-Whitewater with an accounting degree from one of the top business schools in the country.

    Hopefully, they’ll be a job opportunity for me in the not so distant future.

  5. jill
    July 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    While treatment and awareness is good, let’s please find a cure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Judy Schaefer
    July 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    My son is 22 years old with Aspergers. Unfortunately he was never given the opportunities he should have had in high school and for that I am truly sad. He is a bright, friendly and caring person and spends most of his days alone. His only friend is a girl who does not live in our state, but they have become very good friends. He dropped out of college after the first year to try to find work. So far, he has not been successful. He also has OCD with germs, and that is really what’s holding him back right now.

  7. August 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Hello, I am an 55 year old who lives in Washington DC. I have Aspergers syndrome, and do not feel I need to be cured. I just began Autism Change to force the District of Columbia to fund services for autistic adults right along with other disabilities, because they never have, & do not wish to ever do so. I also have OCD with the bathroom. I have a shadow who goes with me when I am needing to do things like fill out applications, because I cannot do that myself without getting upset. Thank you very much for letting me say hello to all of you

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