According to the latest research, one and 45 adults have autism.
Assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Menninger, Alton Bozeman, said more people are being diagnosed later in life because strong skills in one area can help mask disabilities in others. For example, a child may have many friends at a young age and those friends drop off during the teen years. Or perhaps a child is excelling in school but not in every area of life, Bozeman said this makes autism less obvious before teen or adult years.
“The demands on their life have reached a certain point that maxes out some of their capacity,” Bozeman explained.
JC Lyte has recently found independence as someone living with autism. She has a scooter to drive herself places and has a job at Howdy Homemade Ice Cream in Katy. They employ people with disabilities.
The managers say the skill set among people with disabilities actually makes them better employees.
“When you train them to do something, they take such pride in it,” store manager, Amy Cole, said. “There’s just no hidden agenda with these guys, every day is a good day.”
“We have employees that I can call two hours before I need them and they’ll say ‘ok, I’m on my way!’ So they love coming, they’re very reliable and it’s been a great time working here,” said general manager Dana Batson.
Lyte said working here has given her the confidence she didn’t think was possible.
“In February, I was the employee of the month and it was a surprise because no one told me,” Lyte beamed with pride. “I felt so proud because knowing I haven’t been here for a year and all the accomplishments I’ve made already, it’s, you know, it’s a good feeling.”
Bozeman said when autism is detected later in life it’s usually less impactful on life skills and therefore there’s a lot of promise for college, career opportunities and personal life connections.
Click the links below to find opportunities for those with Autism and other special needs.
LifePATH is a program offered at Lonestar College in Tomball, helping people with autism navigate college classes.
They’re having an event on April 29 for families to learn more about the program. Lone Star College campuses promote lifePATH, Autism Awareness Month programs | Community Impact
Job and life skills training available in Houston
The HUB Houston: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/hub-houston
-Accessible Career: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/accessible-career
-Avondale House: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/avondale-house
-Best Personal care Facility: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/best-personal-care-facility
-Bloom Consulting: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/bloom-consulting-houston
-Center for Pursuit: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/center-pursuit
-Summer House: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/summerhouse-houston
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