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Adults with Autism

We are about more than the world's best baby sunglasses and kids shades here at baby. As you probably know, we also donate a portion of all proceeds to an autism charity based in our hometown of San Diego, the Autism Research Institute. We have a passion for this cause because we have autism in our family... owner Scott's adult cousin is severely autistic and will likely need assistance for some functions for the rest of his life. Despite being on the autism spectrum, he loves volunteering at a local animal shelter and even helps his dad with tasks at his construction business.

We wanted to dedicate some ink to the cause of supporting and shining a light on autism spectrum disorder in adults, because they are too often forgotten in the public dialogue. Some of the following is excerpted from a great article about the crisis of services for adults with autism recently published on WebMD.

An estimated one of every 88 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means that 45,000 to 50,000 kids with autism turn 18 each year, says autism researcher Paul Shattuck, from Washington University in St. Louis.

"This is an impending health care or community care crisis," said Dr. Joseph Cubells, director of medical and adult services at the Emory Autism Center at Emory University in Atlanta. "The services that are available vary from state to state, but often the resources just aren't there."

Public schools are required to provide services to people with an autism spectrum disorder until they reach age 22, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. After that, the responsibility shifts to the person with autism and family members to find educational or employment opportunities and appropriate living arrangements.

But experts note that a shortage of necessary programs for adults with autism already exists and is likely to worsen as the increasing number of children who are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders grow into adults. Some adults on the spectrum are phenomenally successful, going to, and thriving in college and the workplace. But for many, navigating the world of employment can be a significant challenge. While some employers might be understanding, and some might even make certain accommodations, what employers are most concerned with is their bottom line -- making it all the more important for adults with an autism spectrum disorder to be placed in jobs that match their skills and interests.

Researchers have found that more than one in three adults on the autism spectrum had no engagement in education or employment for the first six years after high school. Those profoundly affected by autism generally end up staying with their families. Expensive, private options are often available but out of reach for many families. Services for housing options or vocational training are very hit-and-miss and there is a tremendous need for training about autism in the helping agencies.

That is where organizations like the Autism Research Institute can help. They provide training to people on the spectrum and their families, and even have job placement services to help them. We are hoping to make a small difference at some point too. If and when we get big enough to have employees, we are hoping to find an employee on the spectrum that can help us grow our business. We have no doubt that commitment could change the lives of us and our future employee.

As always, remember:

Little People Deserve Big People Shades & Families That Shade Together Stay Together.

Love, Scott, Julia & Baby Avery


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