Madison House Autism Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness of the lifespan challenges autistic adults and their families face; and to finding, developing, and promoting the solutions that allow adults with autism to make choices, live as independently as possible, hold jobs, feel connected to their communities and become participating members of our society.
OUR NATION’S CHALLENGE
Every 11 minutes a child is born who will be diagnosed with autism. These children will likely live an average lifespan of 80 years, the same as any other adult in the US. In this coming decade, 500,000 of these young, autistic adults will turn 21—the age at which federally mandated services stop being provided. Those beyond age 21 today continue to face enormous challenges:
- Waiting lists for housing are decades long – according to one study, only 2,000 units in the country are dedicated for adults with autism.
- Unemployment rates for adults on the spectrum, many of whom have exceptional gifts to contribute, exceed 80%.
- Opportunities for social interaction and ongoing education are nearly non-exist after age 21.
- Professionals, caregivers, housing agencies, first-responders, legislators and policy makers need to better address the issues of the fast growing population of adults.
Families across the nation face unimaginable anguish knowing their adult child’s chance of receiving assistance, stability, and understanding as they age is extremely rare.
MADISON HOUSE PROJECTS & PRIORITIES
Madison House Autism Foundation works to enable community collaborations. We achieve this by hosting conversations, educating families and first responders, hosting Arts for Autism events, researching and developing sustainable solutions, and creating tools, models and templates to help families and communities support autistic adults. The result is a shared, creative, and sustainable response; empowering families and communities through a proactive, planned approach to help individuals live full, productive lives. Our philosophy is based on the belief that many voices together build communities, spark ideas, and create sustainable solutions.
Madison House Autism Foundation is working with researches and educators, businesses and health care leaders, self-advocates, families and caring friends, to advance model solutions including:
- Housing options that borrow from the best adult living models and involve private, non-profit, and government partners, incorporating leading technologies and new learning;
- Financial planning models that begin at diagnosis to help families and friends build a financial lifeline;
- Financial planning programs developed in partnership with insurance companies and estate planners supported by legislation that rewards contributions from family and friends;
- Public policy that keeps pace with scientific breakthroughs and technological discoveries, includes input from self-advocates, and responds to needs of new research for adults with autism and their families;
- Medical and first responder training to help professionals and communities understand and respond appropriately to adults on the spectrum;
- Partnerships with organizations addressing transitions and employment opportunities; and
- National awareness of the talents, potential, and unique contributions of individuals living with their own unique array of autism attributes.
Multi-Discipline Fellowship and Market Study
Madison House has been asked by a leading research university to assist in designing and funding a definitive, comprehensive study of adults with autism. Results of the first year’s efforts will produce a blueprint that will map the way forward for solutions in housing, new legislation, public-private partnerships, and financial planning models for families that begin at diagnosis. The data it produces, will be available to all organizations working towards a better future for autistic adults and other adults with disabilities.