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No support for adults with autism: non-profit

HALIFAX — Autism Nova Scotia’s executive director says support for families with autistic needs tends to stop after high school.

“Once they graduate it’s like a cliff, you know, it just stops,” said Cynthia Carroll.

Carroll says it’s not just support programs for adults with autism that are lacking in Nova Scotia, it’s also housing options.
Currently, she says, there are more than 600 people on a wait-list for supportive community-based housing across the province.

Jocelyn Tingley’s 17 year-old son, Donald,┬áhas been on that wait-list for the past five years.

“He does need 24/7 (assistance), he’ll always need somebody with him… with things like bathing, we have to be there for him.”

Brenda Imlay’s son, Liam, has a high functioning form of autism, but, because of a lack of programs and support, she says he’s now started regressing.

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“Fom high school, into adulthood there is a big huge hole for autistic students or people,” said Imlay.

She’s been trying to get the 25 year-old into an independent living situation.

“I’m just on the phone, all the time, calling everybody, anybody, to get answers.”

Carroll is urging parents with autistic children to email their stories to the non-profit association.

She says Autism Nova Scotia plans to forward these stories along to the government in the hopes of improving programs and support for autistic individuals and their families.