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I Want Funding for Autism Resources -- Not for Finding a Cause

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“Autism” a six-letter word that can change lives and affect so many people. Approximately one in 68 children are on the autism spectrum (and grow up to be autistic adults). Some people really want to find the cause for this. I respect that. But as an individual with autism, a young adult with autism, what I really want is acceptance.

I don’t want funding for support over finding a cause. Why, you may ask? Don’t I care about what causes my disability?

I want more of the money to go towards supporting those on the spectrum across our lifespans because while finding a cause can be important in helping us face challenges, I feel that we truly need to focus on the now, the present. How can we support individuals with autism and their families as they age? Are our needs being met? Do we have the services we need? Is funding and money being put towards that? Sometimes in life we have to prioritize, and in my mind, this is a priority.

Autism, a six-letter word many people are hearing daily. The diagnosis that can leave parents and individuals wondering, How will I do this? How will we do this? Will we get through this? Is there support available? How in the world will we pay for therapy? As individuals on the spectrum age, opportunities for funding become less and less, at least that is what I have experienced. Recently Ohio passed an autism insurance coverage mandate, which I think is great and a huge step for so many. But there is a limitation, an age cut off of 14 years old. What happens then? Who pays for the therapy then? What if the individual is making progress? I like to believe and live my life believing and showing that progress is indeed possible regardless of age.

Don’t give up. It may take a while for you to find the team you like and that meets your needs/the needs of your loved one. But in my experience, once you do that, you are taking a huge step in the right direction.

I’m so very grateful to have my village, my team — team Chloe, who is there to support me, love me, care for me, and help me learn. Autism has its challenges but with my team, lots of love and support, it’s easier. It may not solve everything, but it is a step in the right direction, at least for me, to know I am not in this alone.

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Originally published: March 31, 2017
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