A Mother's Mission: Let's Talk About Autism
According to the CDC, 1 in 58 young adults is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurological condition that affects four central areas of a person diagnosed with ASD, communication, social interaction, thinking and learning, and behavior and sensory responses. No one person with autism is the same. Persons with autism can be non verbal, have limited language, or very talkative. They all have a passion and a talent that needs to be tapped into (ie. music, art, history, trains, buses, planes, etc.).
About our Organization
Let’s Talk About It…The Autism Center, Inc. (LTAITAC) is inspired by the extraordinary young men and women living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As the proud mother of an adult son with ASD, I founded LTAITAC. We launched our non-profit organization in September of 2018 to share my own experiences and methods in raising my son and to support other families in their respective journeys. Our board is composed of professionals with a collective passion to maximize the life experiences of young adults diagnosed with ASD once they leave high school. Through communication and understanding, LTAITAC. strives to make an everlasting positive influence on the lives of young adults with ASD and their caregivers.
LTAITAC was established to provide high functioning young adults on the autism spectrum with day programming services that bridge the understanding and informational gap between young adults with autism, their caregivers and the social, educational and public service systems. Our mission is to provide resources for young adults with ASD and to build a support system for their families as they work to reach their highest aspirations.
We foster an environment where young adults with ASD can learn socialization skills, personal hygiene, life skills, self-advocacy, job readiness, computer proficiency, sensory management and crafting. We focus on abilities and provide a safe and nurturing environment for young adults with ASD - fostering self-acceptance and positivity. We help to develop their unique skills with the ultimate goal of entering the workforce. Through friendship and a sense of belonging, we are helping each young adult with ASD to live an abundant life.
LTAITAC is a dream come true and our family is here to help you and your family. “We are keeping autism on the table and in the conversation.” As Let’s Talk About It...The Autism Center, Inc. continues to evolve, particularly during this season of COVID-19, we have been honored to be a grantee of the city of Charlotte and to do several projects where we provided resources and services to children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers. We have hosted several grab-n-go events where we provided a resource guide developed by LTAITAC, as well as snacks and other educational and support resources. Likewise, we developed, organized and hosted the “Virtual Coping for Caregivers” series where we used Zoom to explore the challenges faced by caregivers of people with ASD, practice coping strategies, learn about yoga, and engage in other fun and artistic activities.
In July, Soror Chavon Robinson and I had the opportunity to host a radio show, “Autism Vibes Radio” which airs on Wednesday mornings at 9am EST, streaming on WDRB Media on the iHeartRadio and TuneInRadio internet platforms. Through this international radio format, we are able to share the stories and experiences of families with loved ones with ASD, as well as health, mental health, current events, and other topics, with the world. If you would like to share your story about your journey with autism give us a call or email us. Through Autism Vibes Radio, we are truly keeping autism on the table and in the conversation. Look out for our podcast and YouTube channel. We’re coming.
For more information about Let’s Talk About It…The Autism Center, Inc. contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach us at (704) 325-9706. Check out our website at LETSTALKABOUTITTHEAUTISMCENTER.ORG
More About Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects communication and behavior and impacts both children and adults. About 1 in 58 young adults has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder, according to the most recent estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The employment-to-population ratio, or the proportion of youth with disabilities who are employed, has declined in the U.S. since the beginning of the millennium. American Community Survey (ACS) estimates show that the employment-to-population ratio for young people with disabilities, ages 16-22 years, fell from 39.3% at the beginning of the century to 28.8% today. Youth without disabilities have experienced a similar downward trend in employment rates (52.9% to 46.9%). An astonishing 70% of adults with autism are unable to live independently. Of these individuals, 49% live with family, creating a huge financial burden on aging parents, and 32% live in residential care facilities (offers little or no privacy, autonomy or stimulation). According to the same study, 70% of Autistic adults are unable to live independently.
Only 3% of adults with autism live fully independently. In terms of employment, only 6% of adults hold paid, full-
time jobs. Regarding mental health, over half of adults with autism have been diagnosed with depression some time in their adult life while 11% say they have suffered a “nervous breakdown.” 94% of Autistic adults are unable to hold paid, full-time jobs.
Even though most adults surveyed had participated in at least two autism interventions in childhood, 65% continue having difficulty making friends. Of teens, 74% stated they had difficulty making friends. Of children under 13, 31% participated in no social activities at all. 65% of Autistic adults have difficulty making friends. Clearly this data shows the burden on quality of life for adults with autism, issues such as independence, self- determination, employment, mental health, social support, and relationships are ignored when planning treatments, assessing treatment outcomes, or evaluating program effectiveness.