The Best Places to Live for Autism Services
There is a lot that can determine where you choose to settle and live with family. Oftentimes the decision comes down to a job opportunity, family roots, cost of living, or the public school system. For families with a child with autism, there is another factor added into the mix: access to autism services.
Autism’s challenges include difficulties with speech, language, communication, and social skills. People with autism also oftentimes have sensory perception problems, meaning they experience the world differently than other people. All of these challenges can make it very difficult for people with autism, especially children, to go about a normal day as someone without autism would.
Autism services and ABA
Autism services is another general term that encompasses anything that may help someone with autism live a normal life. For children, this may mean special resources in school, such as smaller classroom settings or specialized lessons. For adults with autism, services can include things such as employment agency services, environmental accommodations in the workplace, or transportation assistance.
One of the primary autism services available today is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). Behavioral analysis focuses on how learning takes place, and the best ways to ensure that new behaviors are learned and adopted for everyday use. It also avoids anything that may interfere with learning or serve as negative reinforcement. Applied behavioral analysis is the implementation of these techniques and ideas to bring about positive change in someone’s behavior.
ABA can be used to benefit classroom learning, or other aspects of life such as social skills in a playgroup, at family events, or in public. Therapists have been using ABA to help people with autism since the 1960s, and it is widely recognized as an effective treatment for people with autism. Research even suggests that, regardless of a child’s severity of autism, they have the greatest chance of “best outcome” if they start an ABA program before they are age 3 and ½. ABA has been proven to help people in a variety of areas, including social skills, self-care, and employment. It can be especially effective when combined with other intensive or individual early intervention programs. Though ABA programs are typically geared towards children, studies have shown that they can also be effective for teenagers and adults with autism when it comes to independent living and employment.
All autism services aim to help people with autism succeed in school, employment, social settings, and life as a whole. The problem, however, is that not all cities or states are created equal when it comes to autism services. Where you live can greatly affect the availability and quality of autism services.
Relocating for better care
Some families have even gone so far as to move in order to receive better care for their child with autism. One publicized example of this is the case of Wendy Radcliff and Scott Finn, who lived in West Virginia when their son, Max, was born. The couple had planned on spending their lives in West Virginia, Radcliff’s home state where she was involved with local politics and worked towards improving the state for all.
Read on to learn more about why location matters when it comes to autism services.