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State programs for Autistic teens need improvement: Study

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HARTFORD — As the number of children with autism in the state increases, the state programs to help them need to improve, a new study shows. A long and in-depth study by the state legislature’s program review and investigation committee made these findings in a new report.

The study finds that the programs that prepare teens with autism for an independent life should start earlier. Right now they generally start the transitional services at age 16.

That is just part of what the study found. It also said that Connecticut must strengthen the bridge between the teen and adult worlds for the 12,000 young people living with autism. This will help them live and work independently as they reach their early 20s.

Another recommendation by the state is that it should increase housing and job placement assistance to young people with autism. The number of autistic children has gone up in recent years. The state estimates at least 1 in 68 children has autism. Fifteen years ago that figure was estimated at 1 in 166.

That rise is prompting the state to revisit programs that are meant to help.

Read the full report here.

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