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NJ Suffers From Severe Lack Of Autism Programs [AUDIO]

Ben Hider, Getty Images

New Jersey has the highest documented autism rate in the nation. For adults with the condition, the state is suffering from a severe shortage of programs.   The Centers For Disease Control estimates that 1 in 94 kids in New Jersey is autistic. Dr. Linda Meyer, executive director of “Autism New Jersey” says unfortunately, many of those children will need services as they enter adulthood and there is a lack of programs in the state.

“There are a lot of educational programs for children, but with large numbers of autistic children graduating from special education and moving on to adult services there is a real crisis…and we need to find solutions.”

She says a bigger problem is that many non-profits are hindered by state funding policies that leave them short of money they need to open new adult centers.

“The first thing we need to do is understand the system that supports adults with autism in New Jersey and that includes where the money comes from and what are the options for adults with autism in the state.”

Meyer says she agrees with Governor Christie’s approach, who has said it will take a public-private partnership and a lot creativity in order to develop the kinds of services that individuals with autism in this state need.

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