Consequently, no state agency that serves adults in Delaware has responsibility for serving individuals with PDD-NOS or other related conditions. Interagency collaboration and services, especially in the area of employment and social functioning, must be developed. Within the mental health system, the DSAMH only offers services to this population when it is a co-morbid condition.
These services are no less important for our citizens who have been successful in school and have earned academic degrees than they are for our citizens with other disabilities. Too many bright and often, educated, young men and women sit at home, dependent on their parents, and because they do not have the employment and social supports they need to be successful.
3.There are few to no social skills classes or counseling available to individuals on the spectrum of any age.
The only established social skills training is for young children and even this is not available statewide. Social skills training and counseling for teens and adults who are on the spectrum is a critical need. This group must be able to navigate the social landscape of the workplace as well as relationships in order to be successful and independent.
Additionally, there is no sexuality training for anyone with disabilities or who are on the spectrum. This is particularly relevant to those with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Disorder. When combined with their lack of social skills, teens and young adults can easily do the wrong thing and get into serious trouble.
4.Because there are no services, state and provider personnel are not trained to work successfully with adults with autism.
With the exception of the three programs funded through ASP, adult service providers do not have the knowledge or access to training that they need to provide appropriate services to adults with autism either at the management or direct support level. They do not know what people need; they may not know what assistance is available for them as providers; they may not have adequate funding.
Direct support staff does not know how to:
teach adults with autism new skills
address behavioral needs
teach social skills and
maintain and expand existing skills.
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