Adult Issues and Perspectives
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Adult Issues and Perspectives

The two of us are honored to join the MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrom of the United States in enabling people with AS and related disorders to realize our potential as individuals and members of society.

Jean-Paul Bovee

My name is Jean-Paul Bovee. I am 32 years old and was diagnosed AS on the spectrum at age 3 and a half, so dealing with the autism spectrum has been a lifelong thing. I am an Information Specialist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development, Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center and have been in this position for over six years. I have a B.A. in European History from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri; an M.A. in Medieval and Roman History from the University of Kansas; and an M.A. in Library and Informational Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Commitment to adult services, both for the spectrum and in the developmental disabilities field, has been in both my personal and work experiences. People are adults for far longer than they are children, whether one is on the spectrum or not. It is an area that tends to get overlooked by media information and by the advertising within the autism spectrum field. But, the issues are long-term and includes employment, housing, relationships (of all kinds), geriatrics, and all of the things that adults have to deal with. These are issues that have to be discussed.

My experiences in this area come from knowing a lot of people on the spectrum and also from a previous job as a Disability/Autism Consultant for the Central Missouri Regional Center for Persons With Developmental Disabilities in Columbia, Missouri while I was a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. From my work experiences, I got to see the adult services in our state and they do not look good at all. Sheltered workshops, day habilitation, and enclaves at restaurants is not the way to go. There need to be pay for as many people as possible. The group homes that I have seen are not acceptable either.  I have friends that have never had a full-time job with decent pay. The unemployment rate on the spectrum is somewhere around 90 percent, which is unacceptable. Housing, geriatrics, and other things very rarely get discussed at all within the autism community. As these are issues for nonautistic people, these are also issues for people on the spectrum. These are things that I would like to see discussed in our committee.

Stephen Shore

My name is Stephen Shore and I am 39 years old. I was diagnosed with strong autistic tendencies and other choice descriptors along with recommendations for institutionalization at age two and a half. Fortunately, with much help from my parents, teachers, and others, I am now working on a doctoral degree in Special Education with a concentration in the autism spectrum at Boston University. In addition to a bachelor’s in Accounting and Information Systems, I have a second bachelor’s in Music Education and a Masters in Music Education.

Using both music, and / or computers, I work with people on the autism spectrum of all ages on challenges they face ranging from motor skills to social interaction and cognitive development. In addition, I serve as president of the board for the Asperger’s Association of New England and the Board of Directors for Unlocking Autism as well as the Autism Services Association of Massachusetts and Autism Awakening of Iowa.

As I write in my just published book "Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome" (Autism Asperger Publishing Company), of particular importance to me are the issues faced by adults on the autism spectrum pertaining to employment, relationships, and disclosure. My overall goal of joining the Asperger Coalition of the United States is to assist in empowering persons on the spectrum to use their strengths in order to obtain a more satisfaction and fulfillment in employment, education, housing and all other areas of life.

As Jean-Paul so eloquently stated, there is much to be done in this area. Time to get to work!


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