Based on the latest statistics from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children have autism; a 30% rise since the last report in 2012. On Long Island, a County-by-County report conducted by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), found that of the 672,595 children on Long Island, an estimated 4,486 have been diagnosed with autism.
What will happen to those children when they become adults? Where will they live and thrive?
In New York State, the shortage of housing for adults with developmental disabilities has become so acute that residents were forced to file a class-action lawsuit against state leaders including Governor Andrew Cuomo. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 2,000 individuals in western NY and asserts that these individuals are among over 11,000 developmentally disabled people in NYS who have asked for and are still awaiting residential placement. Supportive housing options that support person-centered plans ae largely nonexistent for the nation’s 50,000 individuals with autism who transition to adulthood each year.