The topic of this final project centers around the lack of services that are available to autistic children and adults in rural America and the steps that should be taken the ensure services are available as the growing population of children grow older and need full-time care. Our modern society as well as the current healthcare system are not prepared for the growing need of an ageing disabled population. Will these disabled children and young adults flood the current long-term care facilities that are already established? Will the already stretched thin Medicare and Medicaid system cover the costs associated with the permanent placement of this growing population? This project will also fully explain and compare the seemingly endless options that are in more urban areas that may or may not have years long waiting lists. This project will also provide an overview of the definitions of autism and the challenges that can present itself with a diagnosis and the overwhelming need for early intervention which is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain with the growing numbers of diagnosis. The present number of children diagnosed in the year 2023 with the same age groups 30 years ago will be compared to highlight the growing number of children and adults being diagnosed with this life altering diagnosis. Many practitioners in a clinic setting are getting limited training on the treatment of autistic patients in their formal education and are ill-equipped to deal with challenging patients, this is even more so attributed to children and adults with an autism diagnosis. After this final project the reader should have a better understanding of the challenges facing the Healthcare system relating to autism.

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2023

Senior Project Advisor

G. Michael Barton

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Health Care Administration

Document Type